Brussels, 17 April 2024 – Living standards and nature are under threat from the latest EU competitiveness drive, which government leaders are expected to announce at a summit in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday, warned Greenpeace.

In an echo of similar competitiveness initiatives under the Barroso and Juncker European Commissions, leaked drafts of summit conclusions indicate big industry interests are in control of the EU agenda.

Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss said: “Governments and the EU draw a new competitiveness plan out of a hat every seven years or so. It usually means powerful business interests are pulling the strings. The reality is that competitiveness is not about people – it’s about big business profit margins and trashing nature and living standards. It has led to surging inequality between rich and poor, mounting pollution of our air and water, and the loss of almost 40% of farmers in 15 years. Failing to address the root causes of floods, droughts, wildfires and poverty won’t make Europe a better or safer place.”

EU summit conclusions are expected to largely reflect industry demands listed in the Antwerp Declaration of February 2024, from the introduction of a competitiveness plan to the lowering of social, environmental and labour standards.

Contact: Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911, [email protected]

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