Future of Europe: citizens’ panel proposals on climate change, environment & health
  • Better ways of living

Panellists recommend providing EU subsidies for organic farming and support for vertical farming, where crops are grown in layers on top of each other. The EU should also set minimum standards for food quality in school canteens and food production should become part of public education.

 

Another recommendation is an EU directive on urban development to make cities greener. Panellists also want more support for cyclists and investment in new bike lanes.

 

  • Protecting our environment and health

Panel participants called for a unified labelling system explaining the entire ecological footprint of products purchased within the EU as well as labels stating the use of hormonal substances in food products.

 

They also want higher taxes on unhealthy foods to discourage consumption and a European-wide scoring system for healthy food.

 

Panellists recommended a drastic reduction of the use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers. To protect biodiversity, they want the extension of protected areas as well as rapid and massive reforestation. Panellists also want a gradual phasing out of intensive animal farming.



 

  • Redirecting our economy and consumption

Panellists recommend that the EU should encourage the longer use of products by lengthening their warranties and setting a maximum price on spare parts.

 

The EU should enforce stricter environmental manufacturing standards, which should also apply to imported goods and introduce measures to limit advertising for products that damage the environment.



  • Redirecting overproduction and overconsumption

Panellists want the EU to make CO2 filters mandatory, especially for coal plants. They want to tackle pollution by imposing fines on polluters and reducing the amount of imported goods that don’t meet the EU’s ecological footprint standards.

 

The EU should also support member states in improving the connectivity of rural areas while incentivising affordable public transport and promoting the purchase of electric vehicles and investing in developing other non-polluting technologies.



  • Caring for all

Panellists suggest a change in the EU treaties that would introduce a legal base for more EU action on health. Health treatments across the EU should be of equal quality and at a fair cost. Citizens suggest that a new European procurement agency could negotiate better prices for medicines for all member states.

 

Female sanitary products should stop being considered to be luxury goods and taxed at higher rates. To promote a better understanding of health, EU countries should include mental health and sexual education in their school curricula.



 

What’s next

 

Representatives of the panel will present and debate the recommendations at the next Conference Plenary on 21-22 January 2022 in Strasbourg. The plenary includes representatives of the EU institutions, national parliaments, civil society and citizens.

The final outcome of the Conference will be presented in a report to the presidents of the Parliament, the Council, and the European Commission, who have committed to following up on these recommendations.



The remaining European citizens’ panels will also adopt their recommendations in the near future.


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