The EU needs to protect its long-term interests and address the significant risks facing humanity: a triple planetary crisis caused by the interlinked problems of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, on which digital transformation, an ageing society, and declining democracy are piling on to make things more unpredictable and dangerous.

The EU must take efficient legal action to safeguard its core values, the prosperity of Member States, and the stability of democracy and the rule of law. Protecting the interests of Future Generations through binding legal safeguards is crucial, as they will have to deal with the consequences of today’s decisions and missed opportunities.

Although their interests are fundamentally at stake today, children, youth and Future Generations have no representation in the EU’s democratic decision-making model, as short-term preferences repeatedly override future needs and interests in numerous EU policies.

The EU’s primary law acknowledges solidarity towards Future Generations, but lacks developed legal obligations. An inter-institutional Declaration involving the European Parliament, Council of the EU, and European Commission can provide a robust framework that guarantees the protection and advancement of the rights of Future Generations, while also including commitments of the three institutions to incorporate protections for Future Generations into legal frameworks and policies. Future generations rely on us to live in a Europe fit for them. Our legacy is what we create for the future.

We call for the establishment of an Executive Vice President of the European Commission, who is responsible for Future Generations.

The Commissioner would have a horizontal mandate and can contribute to any legislative process if concern for Future Generations can be demonstrated. This Commissioner would coordinate institutional relations within EU institutions and with a broad range of stakeholders. It would be responsible for the Foresight work of the European Commission as it is a key competence to show how Future Generations are impacted by decisions.

We call for the review and amendment of Better Regulation Guidelines to include intergenerational justice as a key principle for any law-making. The principle of solidarity towards Future Generations should mean that the burden of either the mitigation of any threat or the adaptation to any unavoidable pressures is not to be offloaded unilaterally to generations yet to come. Transformational policies have to serve the long-term interests of the European Citizens including Future Generations and should avoid creating harmful path-dependencies for them.

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