When EU stands for Ecological Union

Written by Lucrezia Zito

What EU stands for?
The scepticism toward the European Union seems to have reached a high intensity. The feeling of disillusion has reached most of the citizens. Meantime medias and politicians in some countries argue about the economic implications of the unique currency as one of the biggest disasters than could ever happen in a country. This is the scenario of the last months, and maybe years. Nothing of new for any of you. What if for once we try to overcame repeating this litany?

If you are asking yourself how, let me you suggest to read the General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 entitled “ Living well, within the limits of our planet” which reports the next European environmental goals.“ The EU has set itself the objective of becoming a smart sustainable and inclusive economy by 2020 with a set of policies and actions aimed at making it a low carbon and resource efficient economy”. It might sound a bit naïf but the core idea has a huge impact that we shouldn’t give for granted. “The EU has agreed to stimulate the transition to a green economy and to strive towards and absolute decoupling of economic growth and environmental degradation”(Council conclusion of 11 June 2012 – 11186/12). How? First of all through a transparent engagement with non governmental actors. Secondly, in order to have a successful comprehensive strategy with a long-term vision, it is needed not to undertake the importance of reaching short-term targets. Subsequently, the European Union and many European countries are increasingly making environmental and climate policies that address these different time-scales. These include: specific environmental policies, with their own timelines and deadlines for implementation on short term; thematic environmental and sectoral policies, formulated on specific medium-term and longer-term visions and targets, mostly with a 2050 societal transition perspective.

Within this setting the General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 is an example of a medium-term strategy.                                                                        
As we can see most of the environmental and climate challenges we are facing today are characterised by a huge complexity due to their multiple causes and the difficulty to delineate them clearly as they pervade different parts of the environment and society in various ways. Only with a European approach we can have some chances to adopt an effective environmental policy. So, perhaps, EU  should stands for Environmental Union, maybe would receive less critics…