Ecopreneur.eu is the European Sustainable Business Federation. Environmental, economic and energy politics go beyond national borders. The European Union and its decision making structures are becoming more and more important. To an ever-increasing extent, economic policy issues are decided in Brussels – and the networks of national associations of the green economy are growing stronger.
The first steps towards Ecopreneur.eu were taken on the initiative of the national associations Grüne Wirtschaft (Austria), Entreprendre Vert (France) and UnternehmensGrün (Germany). With the official foundation of the umbrella organization in January 2016 the common goals receive a strong voice in Brussels.
Since many years, the founding member organizations contribute actively to the political decision-making process in their respective countries. Ecopreneur.eu is the umbrella organization of entrepreneurs, unified in their acceptance of responsibility for our economy, our environment and our society. Together they set a course for sustainable economic policies.
- “Memorandum of Understanding” as pdf
Ecopreneur.eu advocates a genuinely sustainable economy. Ecopreneur.eu lobbies on a national and European level for subsidiarity and decentralization of economic, ecological and social structures. A regulatory framework is needed which rewards ecologically and socially responsible economic behaviour, and penalizes resource-wasting economic activities. Our common goal is to prevent short-term profit maximisation at the expense of the environment and climate, the socially disadvantaged and the global south.
Ecopreneur.eu calls for a dialogue about the fundamental principles of economic activity. Guidelines for the economy must be based on ethical standards. The lack of ethics in the finance sector was co-responsible for the financial crises in recent years. Regulatory provisions must guarantee the restraint of economical stakeholders.
We demand uniform tax laws within the European Union. This legislation must be developed transparently, and must assure that same standards apply to small and medium-sized businesses as well as to big ones. Small businesses should not be disadvantaged due to complex tax rules.
In addition, small businesses must have the possibility to limit their entrepreneurial and economical risk, for example via a Europe-wide simplified limitation of liability. This would encourage a culture of entrepreneurial commitment for sustainable business ideas and projects.
We see the European energy and efficiency transition as the top ecological priority. Ecopreneur.eu calls for a European “Energiewende” that is renewable, decentralised, and in the hands of the people. The energy mix should consist of wind, solar, and bioenergy, supplemented by geothermal energy, hydro-electric, power-heat cogeneration and respective storage technologies. The expansion of the grid across Europe must serve the needs of renewable energies instead of the needs of fossil fuels. Tax and regulatory policy must be focussed on the goal of climate protection. If emission trading schemes fail, they must be substituted by taxes on carbon dioxide.
In addition to the expansion of renewable energies and creation of transparent climate protection mechanisms, sustainable concepts of mobility will be part of the energy transition: cycling, walking and public transport must be given priority over cars. Especially in metropolitan areas, a decrease in traffic leads to a better quality of life. Fuel-saving and low-carbon vehicles with electric and hybrid motors will be the future of individual traffic. Positive incentives must be set by energy taxes to increase the price of energy consumption. We therefore demand a worldwide tax on kerosine (jet fuel) and the implementation of a pan-European air traffic tax.
A new agricultural policy is needed to promote organic farming and decrease CO2 emissions. Moreover, the coexistence of genetically non-modified alongside modified crops must be guaranteed by law. Policy guidelines must be established to ensure the continued commercial cultivation of genetically non-modified crops. Clear liability regulations for contamination of non-modified fields as well as requirements to label ingredients and production methods are needed, all of which will mean a disadvantage for companies using genetically modified seeds or plants.
Both nationally and at European level, we are lobbying for the preservation and implementation of stable social safety nets. Every citizen is entitled to be protected from the costs of medical treatment by an effective health insurance. In case of unemployment, employees must receive appropriate benefits in order to prevent economic and social poverty. Employees must be entitled to a state-guaranteed pension scheme.
We are in favour of a single system of national insurance – both for health insurance as well as pensions. The self-employed as well as workers and civil servants should pay into this single insurance fund.
Furthermore, we call for a stronger commitment to education for sustainable development. Good quality education must give all children and teenagers a fair and equal chance to develop themselves freely and individually, regardless of their parents’ social status or level of income. Education must teach responsibility – also with regards to the preservation of our natural resources – self-reliance and entrepreneurial activity.
GREENING EUROPE´S ECONOMY.
Signed by Grüne Wirtschaft (A), Entreprendre Vert (F) and UnternehmensGrün (D)
- Green New Deal and reformation of the European economy
- Promotion of social innovation
- Focus on regional economic structures and small and medium-sized companies