Two weeks left until the European elections, and Brussels is abuzz with policy makers and civil society presenting their visions for the future of our Union. However, there is a notable disconnect between high-level debates and what the people want. This is why we’ve launched the ‘European Pact for the Future’, promoting an agenda of hope, which is supported by a wide coalition of civil society, sustainable business, and governments. Sign it now.

DEMOCRACY IN DANGER. “Democracy” is one of the EU’s core values. Alarmingly, according to data from Open Society Foundations, consistent support for democracy is dropping, especially among young people across Europe. In Germany, 66% of those aged 70 and up are consistent supporters of democracy compared to just 21% of Gen Z and Millenials! In France, those aged 29 and below (Gen Z and Millenials) score as low as 14%, which is about half of the national average, which is only 27%!

WE UNDERTAND. Clearly, people are frustrated, and so are we! We need our EU and national leaders to genuinely work towards improving our lives and wellbeing. With the upcoming EU elections, we can vote for politicians who will do so. See our Scoreboard if you want to investigate how political parties actually voted over the last five years. Either way, it is vital to realise that we cannot take our democracy for granted, and it’s time to show it some more love. Even if that includes some compromises!

TIK TOK, TIK TOK.. This drop in support for democracy is undoubtedly also due to an abundance of disinformation and false narratives online. As a Politico report shows, authoritarian leaders have cracked the code and are instrumentalising TikTok to reach Gen Z (and Millenial!) audiences. The time is ticking for all progressive actors to hop on the bandwagon, and take the narrative game seriously. It is not just about informing leaders and key stakeholders, but also the people. The EEB is definitely trying to spread the word further! 

SAVE THE DATE. It’s time to turn out and speak up – loud and clear – for a future where people and planet thrive together. Let’s prove the data wrong: it’s not just the 70-year-olds who care about our democracy. People of all ages do. From 31 May to 2 June, together with many partners, we mobilise for climate and social justice all around the EU. Join the Climate March in Brussels on 1 June – fun and food included. #WeMakeTheFuture

12 DEMANDS. As the EU elections, and with them the new political mandate, inch closer by the day, candidates are clamouring to present their priorities for the EU. Last week’s Bruegel/Finacial Times debate and this week’s Eurovision debate are some examples. But political parties are also promoting their manifestos – only some of them prioritising what Europe really needs. Political parties take note: the European Pact for the Future demands an ambitious agenda that fosters wellbeing for all. Feel free to adopt it as your own!


OFF TO THE RACES. At around the time this newsletter is reaching you – STARTS the second day of meetings for the Competitiveness Council, or COMPET for those acquainted with EU lingo. Today will see an important round of talks held, as EU ministers responsible for Internal Market and Industry will be discussing and approving conclusions on how to achieve a resilient European industry.  

BALL TO THE NET. Member states will convene around the table to debate how to support industry for the future but although the conclusion’s document title references a ‘green future’, we are not convinced environmental protection is at the top of the minister’s mind. The draft conclusions tell us that, despite some welcome highlights, there is much room for improvement in ensuring a competitive industry that does not run unchecked. 

MATCH POINT. A competitive European industry is only possible if taking into account environmental and social aspects. Europe’s strength lies in progressive policy rooted in robust social and environmental norms – meaning industrial policy that benefits people, workers, and the environment. Even more, backing off now would only increase the risk of being outpaced by others, and diminish the EU’s global influence. The ball is now in COMPET’s court (yes, we went to see Challengers – how did you guess?) 


PEOPLE GIVE A DAMN. Across Europe, we argue about many things. But what’s one issue on which we’re overwhelmingly united? You guessed it: animal welfare. 90% of Europeans consider the welfare of farmed animals important. 84% of EU citizens believe that the welfare of farmed animals should be better protected in their country. 70% of Europeans would be willing to pay more for animal produce with higher animal welfare standards. And in all 27 EU member states, at least 80% of people want a ban on cage farming in Europe.  

SCIENCE IS CLEAR AS DAYLIGHT. But it’s not only about what people think. The science is also abundantly clear. The sheer numbers of animals reared in industrial settings across Europe is not only the cause of needless suffering of billions of animals processed like commodities through this model each year. It is also at the root of runaway planet-cooking emissions and devastating ecosystem breakdown and biodiversity loss. What’s more, it poses serious and growing threats to people’s health, water sources, food security and the stability of our societies. 

DEBUT REPORT PUBLISHED. This week, the EEB published its first position paper on the issue of EU animal welfare. It draws attention to the (increasingly clear) correlation between high animal numbers/concentrations in factory farm settings in Europe and the rapidly worsening crises for our climate, our ecosystems (pollution of water, soil, air), and our health. It also reminds us of promises made to correct this scourge, and what this means for democracy. Read our press release

‘FOOD FOR PROFIT’ SCREENED. We’re often sold the idea that the EU is a safe haven for farmed animals. It is not. On Tuesday night, we hosted a screening of the new dramatic feature-length documentary ‘Food for Profit’. It showed the status quo to be characterised by suffering, cruelty, severe environmental harm, human rights violations, and major growing threats to human health and public safety. The worst part? All this is funded by us, and is enriching those at the top while millions of farmers and farm workers suffer. It doesn’t have to be like this.  

ANIMAL WELFARE SCORECARDS! What the future looks like for animal welfare is in our hands. We have the data. We hold the facts. We know the truth. The good news is that we can put that information to use through real action: voting in the upcoming EU elections for candidates that value. Keep your eyes peeled on our socials for country-specific scorecards showcasing how MEPs and national parties have been voting on animal welfare issues over the past five years (here’s Austria’s – more to come, and comment on socials which you’d like to see next!) 

TIME FOR A DIET SHIFT. This manifestly unsustainable model cannot go on. It does not mean no more farmed animals, but it does mean less and better meat. It also requires an urgent reallocation of financial and material resources to sustainable food production models rooted in agroecology. Last week the European Vegetarian Union published a major survey on dietary shifts. It showed the positions of 50 political parties and groups in the European Parliament on the transition to sustainable diets. If you care about access to healthy, affordable and truly sustainable food and diets, maybe this can help you decide who to vote for! And on that point, if you still haven’t seen our country-by-country scoreboard for climate, nature and pollution, check it out and share it widely!


WE KNOW YOU WANT TO: We recently expanded our digital presence to Instagram and TikTok! We are also on Bluesky. Give us a follow and don’t miss our latest green updates and work at the EU level and beyond.