28 April 2022
Civil Society Forum for Sustainability: Shaping the European Green Deal
This Forum will serve as an informal agora for discussing democratic participation in relation to the topics, policies and processes of the European Green Deal (EGD), gathering Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other key stakeholders from all over Europe that are working in the areas of the EGD and participatory democracy.
Why a Civil Society Forum for the European Green Deal?
The European Green Deal is one of the most broad and ambitious policy frameworks of the European Union, aiming to transform the EU into the first climate-neutral region of the world by 2050 and to achieve the objectives set in the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is crucial that these bold transformations benefit all of society, and the costs of climate action do not fall on the least privileged.
Ensuring such profound change requires active engagement and meaningful participation of citizens to shape and take part in the design, implementation and evaluation of policies and strategies surrounding the EGD. Several CSOs have been fostering civil dialogue alongside social dialogue in the EGD as crucial means to guarantee both appropriateness and acceptance for transformative and impactful policy. In this context, and against the backdrop of current developments of shrinking civic space, it is urgent to provide a space for collective action where CSOs can gather to discuss and assess the participatory dimension of the EGD, to be able to build on their synergies to influence policies and shared good practices and concerns. Only then will it be possible to reshape and rethink civil dialogue to strengthen citizens’ and stakeholders’ active participation and deliberation in the green and just transition for all.
Why join this Forum?
With the Green Transition being a top priority for European policymakers, it is crucial that civil society organisations are given a voice to shape the policies around the Green Deal. This Forum represents a unique opportunity to overcome silos and gather with other representatives of civil society and beyond to discuss how to facilitate participation in the process, as well as to ensure that the concerns of CSOs and those they represent are put at the core of a EGD that leaves nobody behind.
The forum is a first step towards reimagining and reinforcing civil society’s role and participation in developing and defining green policies at the European and member state level. Much like an agora, it is aimed to build a dynamic public space that encourages different actors to gather and debate, share best practices, and learn from each other, ensuring that those individuals and groups who are often neglected and disenfranchised from the political process are not left behind.