PES ENVI Network: the drive for eco-friendly and fair societies starts with sustainable cities

20/01/2021

PES ENVI Network

PES ENVI Network meeting by videoconference

Europe’s cities can be world-leaders on environmental and social justice, if they embrace progressive priorities. This was the conclusion as the PES Environment, Climate Change and Energy Network convened by videoconference today.

MEPs, MPs and representatives of NGOs met to adopt the new PES brochure Progressive and Sustainable Cities: Our vision for fair urban and regional development and discuss the European Commission’s Renovation Wave Strategy and global deforestation.

The meeting comes ahead of Housing for All: Time for Europe to Deliver, organised by the PES Group in the Committee of the Regions (CoR). Progressive leaders – including Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, S&D President Iratxe García Pérez, PES CoR President Christophe Rouillon, Agnes Jongerius MEP and more - will join the online events next week to discuss action to guarantee social, affordable, and sustainable housing for all – a particular challenge in Europe’s cities.

Meeting Chair, Javi López MEP, said:

“Europe’s cities are facing challenges brought about by the structural changes our societies are undergoing. Cities can be the drivers of an environmentally sustainable future, but only if they also emerge as beacons of fairness in which opportunities are guaranteed to all.

“Promoting social fairness, eradicating poverty, fostering harmonious social diversity and equality, breaking down barriers and the fight against pollution must be prioritised. And, access to good quality, affordable, housing must be delivered urgently. These remain the key demands of socialists and democrats as we push for concrete action at EU level to improve cities for all their citizens.

“The Renovation Wave put forward by Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans is an important step in the right direction, but in terms of investment and the level of our ambition, liberals and conservatives have a lot of catching up to do.”

A decade of neoliberal austerity policies, the emergence of the gig economy and the casualisation of employment have increased inequality and segregation in Europe’s cities. Socialists and democrats are fighting to ensure cities are given the competences and resources that they need to progress fair and just urban development.

Access to good quality housing must be a right and quality of life must be a priority, including improving green spaces, investing in arts and culture, fairness in urban policy, the eradication of energy and water poverty, opportunities for young people, inclusivity, sustainable mobility and citizen participation. As we continue to face the coronavirus crisis, city economies – particularly tourism and SMEs – must be also supported.

The Network was briefed by MEP Miapetra Kumpula-Natri on the S&D position paper on the Renovation Wave Strategy and by MEP Delara Burkhardt on a report on global deforestation and the EU supply chain.

More information on the PES CoR event Housing for All: Time for Europe to Deliver is available here.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Javi Lopez, Chair of the Network, Member of the European Parliament, PSC, Spain
  • Yonnec Polet, PES Deputy Secretary General, PES

  • Tsvetelina Penkova, Member of the European Parliament, BSP, Bulgaria
  • Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Member of the European Parliament, SDP, Finland
  • Delara Brukhardt, Member of the European Parliament, SPD, Germany
  • Jens Geier, Member of the European Parliament, SPD, Germany
  • Victor Negrescu, Member of the European Parliament, PSD, Romania
  • Mohammed Chahim, Member of the European Parliament, PvDA, Netherlands
  • Marcos Ros Sempere, Member of the European Parliament, PSOE, Spain

  • Anne Lambelin, Vice-President, PS, Belgium
  • Florent Legrand, Policy adviser, PS, Belgium
  • Natasa Ioannou, PR & Communication's Manager, Cyprus, EDEK, Cyprus
  • Sofia Anastasia Hansen, Political advisor and international consultant, SDP, Denmark
  • Alexandros Karydis, Movement for Change, Greece
  • Gábor Harangozó, Director of the Party Think Tank Institute for Social Democracy, MSZP, Hungary
  • Francesco Carteri, Political adviser, PES CoR
  • Roby Biwer, Member of Bettembourg Municipal Council , PES CoR
  • Elisha Winckel, Vice President, YES
  • Charlotte Billingham, Senior Policy Adviser – Climate, FEPS

  • Guillaume Durivaux, Policy officer, European Federation of Public Service Unions
  • Andreas Brieger, Deputy Head of the EU Liaison Office, German Confederation of Trade Unions
  • Raphael Hasenknopf, EU Affairs Assistant, Energy Cities
  • Edoardo Concari Coppola, Buildings Policy Coordinator, Climate Action Network Europe
  • Virginia Enssle, Junior Advocacy Officer, Fair Trade Advocacy Office
  • Stephan Thalhofer, Policy Officer, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
  • Cloé Mathurin, Adviser, Pesticide Action Network Europe
  • Mathieu Rama, Senior Policy Officer, Rreuse

  • Corina Popa, Political Advisor, S&D Secretariat
  • Rebeka Marsnjak, Political adviser for the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy, S&D Secretariat
  • Olga Rueda Molina, Assistant to MEP Javi Lopez, PSC, Spain
  • Francisco Galián, Assistant to MEP Marcos Ros Sempere, PSOE, Spain
  • Celia Ruiz Alfonsea, Assistant to MEP Cristina Maestre, PSOE, Spain
  • Mara Jaidhauser, Trainee for MEP Günther Sidl, SPÖ, Austria