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Our Long-Term Strategy

Editor responsible Jeremy Wates

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Europe’s largest network of Brussels 1000, Belgium
environmental citizens’ organisations
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The EEB is an International non-profit association /

Association internationale sans but lucratif (AISBL).
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RPM Tribunal de l’entreprise francophone de Bruxelles

Working for a better future where

people and nature thrive together Adopted by the General Assembly in November 2019

Published with the support of the LIFE

Programme of the European Union and
the MAVA Foundation.
This publication reflects the authors’
views and does not commit the donor.
About us ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 1 European Institutions and Governance
About this strategy�������������������������������������������������������������������� 2
Our changing world������������������������������������������������������������������� 3
Environmental Law and Justice
The role and impact of the EEB ��������������������������������������������� 9
Policy priorities ������������������������������������������������������������������������11
Our overarching Theory of Change ������������������������������������12
Global and Regional Policies
European Institutions and Governance �����������������������13
Environmental Law and Justice ������������������������������������ 16 Economic Transition
Global and Regional Policies �����������������������������������������19
Economic Transition ��������������������������������������������������������22 Nature
Nature ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������25
Circular Economy �������������������������������������������������������������28 Circular Economy
Climate ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 31
Health and Environment �������������������������������������������������34
Membership, partnerships and events��������������������������������39
Staff, organisation and governance�������������������������������������42 Health and Environment
About us Values
The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) brings together The EEB stands for sustainable development,
citizens’ groups from across Europe. Our 160 members from environmental justice, global equity, transparency and
36 countries have more than 30 million individual supporters. participatory democracy. We promote the principles
of prevention, precaution and ‘polluter pays’.

Our values:

Vision Mission • Democracy: We are a representative and

inclusive organisation.
A better future where people We are the largest and most • Fairness: We are committed to justice, equality
inclusive European network of
and nature thrive together. and non-discrimination.
environmental citizens’ groups –
• Respect: We provide an enabling, nurturing work
The next generation deserves a healthy and the only one that works on
culture that inspires excellence.
planet. We believe in a world where such a broad range of issues.
equal, just, peaceful and democratic • Integrity: We advocate policies based on science
We advocate for progressive and communicate with honesty.
societies can prosper. A world with rich
policies to create a better • Sustainability: We strive to practice what we
biodiversity and a safe climate. A world
environment in the European preach, applying green principles to our work.
where laws and policies promote health
Union and beyond.
and wellbeing while respecting nature.
We believe that Europe has a crucial role
to play in building this future.

Democracy Fairness Respect Integrity Sustainability

About this strategy
This ten-year Long-Term Strategy (LTS) for our work followed by a description of the sequence of cause and effect. TOCs anchor
is the result of an extensive consultation special role the EEB plays. We then delve in the impact on the environment and people
exercise involving our working groups, deeper into eight policy areas (we call them (green & brown ovals) via the reduction of
Executive Committee (ExCom), Board and full clusters) outlining our broad strategy for each. threats (purple boxes). With our actions
membership as well as the EEB staff. Longer texts have been developed separately (yellow hexagons), we are pushing for
for each cluster which include more achieving intermediate results (blue boxes),
The participatory process began in spring
details about actions, expected results and i.e. changes in the world around us, required
2018; early opportunities to contribute
indicators. This strategy exercise will be used to reach the desired impact.
included a reflection day organised with EEB
as guidance for our working groups and staff
members, external guests and speakers at The contents of this strategy represent a
and will provide the foundation for our annual
our 2018 AGM in Brussels. In 2019, further truly joint effort and many hours of hard work
work programmes for the coming decade.
consultations were held with our working by everyone involved. We are committed
groups and during ExCom and Board While developing this strategy we have to honour the work that has produced this
meetings. In addition, our two-day staff practiced adaptive management using strategy by using its contents to inform
retreat in July 2019 was dedicated to making Theories of Change as defined by the decision making in working groups, staff
further progress on the LTS together. The CMP Open Standards for the Practice of meetings and AGMs over the coming decade.
process culminated in the adoption of the LTS Conservation. Theory of Change (TOC) We intend to continue the participatory
by the General Assembly at the 2019 AGM, diagrams provide a clear overview of the approach to developing strategy by reflecting
held in Berlin on 19-20 November 2019. causal links and impact we are aiming to on and reviewing this document throughout
achieve for each area of work. The diagrams its lifetime. A mid-term review of this strategy
We have structured this document to include
should be read from left to right as a will be conducted after five years.
an overarching introduction setting the scene

Our changing world
The environmental emergency
The activities of a rapidly growing human • Hazardous chemicals and other pollutants
population over the past couple of centuries, and have spread to even the remotest parts of
especially during the past few decades, have our planet, endangering both human health
transformed the conditions for life on Earth so and other life forms. If nothing is done, there
substantially that geologists have coined a new will be more plastic than fish in the oceans
term for our era: the Anthropocene. by 2050.

• Emissions of greenhouse gases from These trends have been driven by burgeoning
the burning of fossil fuels have driven consumption of resources based on a linear
concentrations of carbon dioxide to levels economy that prioritises unlimited economic
unprecedented in the past three million growth over environmental and social
years. Unless urgent action is taken in the considerations. Over the past five decades,
coming years, this will lead to catastrophic annual global extraction of materials has more
temperature rises bringing about sea than tripled, and will double again by 2060
level rise affecting many coastal cities, an if we follow current trends. The extraction
increase in extreme weather events and and processing of materials, fuels and food
other changes rendering parts of the Earth contributes half of total global greenhouse gas
uninhabitable. emissions and over 90% of biodiversity loss and
water stress.
• Biodiversity is being lost at an alarming
pace, with species becoming extinct at a Put simply, we are living beyond our means.
rate not seen in 65 million years. Leading Earth Overshoot Day, the day by which
scientists refer to this as the sixth mass humanity has used up its entire natural
extinction. In Europe, the main cause of this resources budget for the entire year, was on 29
destruction is unsustainable agriculture. July in 2019 and takes place earlier every year.

The dramatic growth in the global The rise of nationalist regimes whose and consumption patterns that are
population, rising from just 4 million leaders show open disrespect for the harming the environment, and that
12,000 years ago to the current level rule of law and flagrant disregard for solutions will need to go beyond fixing
of 7.6 billion and foreseen to continue the truth about topics such as climate symptoms to addressing root causes.
increasing to 11.2 billion by 2100 is change has been a further obstacle to
Third, the EU has developed an
an underlying driver that increases supranational collaboration to tackle
impressive body of environment-
pressures and makes virtually all environmental problems in a coherent,
related law and policy over the past
environmental problems more rational way.
few decades, and if this has not been
challenging to solve.

Solutions to the environmental

Despite these enough, much has been achieved and
without it the situation would be far
emergency need to take into account worrying trends, worse. This provides a solid basis to
historic and present global inequalities. build on.
Most of today’s industrial nations there are grounds
Fourth, key decisionmakers in
have based their development on for optimism. the EU are starting to realise the
the exploitation of raw materials
First, there is growing public and urgent need to step up action on
and labour through unequal power
political awareness of the extent and the environment. Most notably, the
structures. Today, the poorest 50% of
gravity of the problems, with the inclusion of environment as the first
the world’s population is responsible
‘green wave’ which characterized of six priority areas by the Von der
for 10% of carbon emissions, while the
the 2019 European elections being a Leyen Commission, and specifically
world’s richest 10% produce around
recent manifestation of that and the the commitment to put forward a
half of all emissions.
proliferation of climate and extinction European Green Deal and to make
Policies to address these problems protests, especially by youth, being Europe the first climate-neutral
have generally arrived too late, lacked another. continent, create significant new
the necessary ambition and failed opportunities, even if the detailed
to keep pace with science. Lobbying Second, for a growing number of content and the level of ambition in
by vested interests has too often people, that awareness extends implementing it remains to be seen.
dissuaded governments from acting to recognising that our economic
decisively to protect the environment. system is driving the production

Finally, and most important: solutions are available. This
was one of the key conclusions of the IPCC’s special report
on global warming of 1.5°C and it is true in other areas too.
With increased political will and public awareness, we can
solve the problems. And the solutions to environmental
problems will also improve our quality of life, whether it
be through better insulated homes, less time lost in traffic
jams, clean air or healthier diets.

Success will require a combination of shifts in high-level

policy frameworks, nitty-gritty technical innovation,
including through enhancing digital technologies, and
a behavioural and cultural change, leading to systemic
transformation. These approaches should be seen as, and
should be developed so as to be, complementary rather
than competing. Incremental progress that does not
block or divert effort from the necessary deeper systemic
changes should be welcomed, even if on its own it is not

Regulation through binding laws has proven to be one of

the most effective ways to leverage real change, which is
why it has been vigorously resisted by polluting industry
and must continue be a key demand of environmentalists.
Responsible industry welcomes regulation that ensures
that the real costs of activities are internalized, that
the polluter really does pay, and that the precautionary
principle is applied. Democratic systems of governance
are also essential to enable the public to play its part in
the just transition to sustainable development and to hold
governments to account in that process.

The role of the EU
Europe has played a leading role in strengthened, they are often better that was pushed first by the Barroso
creating the environmental crisis. than the equivalent policies in other Commission (2004-2014) and then
The industrial revolution began developed and emerging economies. even more aggressively by the Juncker
in Europe, which accounts for the EU policies are supposed to be Commission (2014-2019). Those
continent’s large historical contribution based on science, even if the policies seeking to get rid of red (or green)
to problems such as climate change, routinely lag behind the science and tape joined forces with Eurosceptics
and to this day Europe continues the precautionary principle is not to push for the Brexit referendum,
to live beyond its ecological means: applied rigorously enough. This is not presenting EU laws as an interference
if everyone in the world had the always the case in other regions, e.g. with sovereignty. This weakened
environmental footprint of the average the US where scientific illiteracy is the appetite for new legislation at
European, we would need three widespread even at the highest levels EU level, including to protect the
planets. of government and truth itself as a environment, and crucial years
concept is under attack. were lost. Fortunately, the tortuous
At the same time, the EU and its
nature of the Brexit process to some
Member States have been at the Progress in protecting the
extent dampened enthusiasm not
forefront of developing laws, policies environment through EU laws and
only for Euroscepticism but also
and strategies to tackle environmental policies has been held back by the
for deregulation and led to greater
problems. While many of these policies so-called better regulation agenda,
recognition of the value of legally
are clearly insufficient and need to be a short-sighted deregulatory agenda

binding standards at EU level to The UK’s exit from the EU a major expansion of the kind that
protect the environment, consumers presents a unique challenge to the took place in 2004 and 2007, some
and public health. However, the enforcement and development of further expansion is expected and the
threat of a deregulatory approach the EU’s environmental protection engagement of environmental NGOs
re-surfaced in the Von der Leyen rules. Negotiating a future EU- in that process will be important to
Commission’s commitment to develop UK relationship will require a new secure the maximum leverage for
a new instrument to deliver on the approach that goes beyond the way better environmental policies.
‘one in, one out’ principle whereby trade deals are currently designed,
The importance of the EU’s role in
any legislative proposal creating new considering the closeness and
defending the environment at global
burdens should relieve people and size of the UK economy and the
level increased as US policies under
businesses of an equivalent existing significant transboundary impacts.
Trump became increasingly hostile
burden at EU level in the same policy More ambition, better enforcement
to the environment. Other large
area. and tightening of requirements for
economies – China, India, Russia, Brazil
imported products will be essential
Europe is the largest single market – either for the most part showed
to establish a level playing field and
in the world, a status which gives it little leadership on environmental
prevent the UK gaining a competitive
considerable leverage in promoting issues, with some notable exceptions
advantage through having lower
higher environmental standards such as China’s record in the field of
environmental standards.
around the globe. Arguably it has renewable energy development, or are
made insufficient use of this leverage, The countries most immediately actively hostile, such as seen in Brazil
e.g. missing opportunities to insist influenced by the EU’s environment- in relation to deforestation. To put it
on stronger environmental provisions related policies are those aspiring simply, on the global level the EU is the
when negotiating trade deals or to join the bloc, which are required best hope for the environment among
imposing stricter environment-related to progressively harmonise their the economically powerful nations of
requirements on imported products. policies with those of the EU. While the world.
the EU is not expected to undergo

EEB’s activities. However, we will practice to promote global progress
continue to engage selectively in and coherent policies. This applies
global and regional processes outside not only to “candidate countries” to
the EU, for a number of reasons. the EU that seek EU accession, but
First, the EU is not an island – in a also neighbouring countries (ENPI
globalized world where pollution does countries) and more widely, including
not stop at national borders, the best among developed economies such as
EU environmental policies imaginable the member states of the Organisation
will not work unless complemented by for Economic Cooperation and
stronger policies at the global level and Development. The EEB will also
This is not to say that all is well in other regions, and European civil explore the possibility of bilateral
with the EU when it comes to the society should play a role in shaping partnerships with non-EU countries
environment, nor to ignore the impact those. Second, global and regional which strengthen environment-related
of European consumption patterns in processes can in turn shape the policies in other regions. Finally, EEB
other parts of the world. But with the development of future EU policies, as will work on EU policies not only to
rise of autocratic, anti-environmental happened with the Aarhus Convention improve the European environment,
regimes around the world, it is and the 2030 Agenda. Third, without but to tackle EU’s responsibility for
important to recognize and build discounting the EU’s excessive impacts beyond our borders and hence
on the EU’s strengths and potential footprint, it is nonetheless true that embrace its global responsibility.
influence while criticizing its failings. EU policies and solutions have proven
to be more progressive than those
Thus the EU and its processes will
in many other countries, so there is
remain as the central focus of the
scope for “exporting” EU policies and

The role and impact of the EEB
The European Environmental Bureau dedicated teams working on nature, and chemicals or between biodiversity
brings together citizens’ groups from climate, health, circular economy, and climate.
across Europe. economic transition; environmental
Our working groups provide a space
justice and law, EU and global
Together with our members we work for our members to learn from
governance. While our primary focus
on all kinds of issues – from ecology to colleagues and design policies and
is on the EU, we also seek to improve
economy, biowaste to biodiversity and campaigns for a greener Europe.
regional and global policies.
incineration to insulation. We speak Together, we present these policies
up for people and nature to help shape We have a long history of working
and target these campaigns at the
policies for a sustainable future. closely with a variety of organisations
people who have the power to change
and developing partnerships across
Our 160 members from 36 countries laws.
sectors. Because young people have
boast more than 30 million individual At the global and European levels we
the biggest stake in our shared future,
supporters. We are the only European take a lead in putting things on the
we will work hard to support youth-
network that works on such a wide agenda and advocating policy change
led initiatives.
range of environmental topics and is by making our case to decision makers
open to any genuine environmental The breadth of topics we work on
in Brussels and beyond.
citizens’ group, whether national or enables us to address nexuses,
interfaces and potential trade-offs Our positions are included in proposals
European, to join.
between different environmental for global and regional agreements
We raise awareness of the major and European laws, taken up by
policy areas to ensure coherence,
environmental challenges and negotiators and included in adopted
e.g. between climate and circular
promote the opportunities and texts.
economy, between circular economy
benefits of addressing them. We have

Our dedicated team report back from
European and international processes,
providing feedback and support, informing
and building the capacity of our members so
they can help to shape national debates.
Actively aware of priority issues, our members
are equipped to influence national politicians
and play a role in civil society movements that
push important issues onto political agendas
at national and EU level, raise awareness and
promote behavioural change among the wider
Once laws are adopted, we make sure
they are put into practice, ensuring
implementation by monitoring and assessing
how national and local authorities perform.
The sound implementation of global and EU
laws and policies at all levels reduces threats
to, and creates opportunities for, people and
nature in Europe and beyond.
Ultimately, stronger and better laws and
policies will help us to build a better future
where people and nature thrive together.

Policy priorities Our policy clusters
The following are the criteria that the EEB applies
when deciding on policy priorities and setting up new European Institutions
Working Groups: and Governance
Policy areas:
• High impact on the environment Environmental Law and
• Potential to make a difference on policy level Justice
• Achievable with reasonable effort
• Strategic political opportunities and/or
Global and Regional
• Public and media concern
• Unique role, niche or gap
• Potential to get funded Economic Transition
• Expertise & support within the network &
Working groups:
All the above, as well as:
• Interest of members to engage in a working group Circular Economy
Where appropriate, the EEB will promote its objectives
on a given topic by collaborating with, supporting Climate
and/or being advised by one or more of its member
organisations which is/are active or specialized on that
topic, rather than by recruiting new staff capacity to Health and Environment
deliver the work.

Our overarching Theory of Change

While developing this strategy we and impact we are aiming to achieve (purple boxes). With our actions
have practiced adaptive management for each area of work. The diagrams (yellow hexagons), we are pushing
using Theories of Change as defined should be read from left to right for achieving intermediate results
by the CMP Open Standards for the as a sequence of cause and effect. (blue boxes), i.e. changes in the world
Practice of Conservation. Theory TOCs anchor in the impact on the around us, required to reach the
of Change (TOC) diagrams provide environment and people (green & blue desired impact.
a clear overview of the causal links ovals) via the reduction of threats

European Institutions and Governance
Putting environment into the EU’s DNA

The European Union has achieved many important and policies to promote environmental sustainability. And
successes in improving the environment – from tackling engaging with the Committee of Regions and the European
acid rain and providing clean drinking water to promoting Economic and Social Committee and their networks will help
a circular economy and banning single use plastic products increase the calls for progressive action and engage wider
- but it could do so much more. People in Europe want to networks.
see more EU environmental action. The EU’s institutions
In the next ten years all but seven EU countries will have
– especially the Commission, Parliament and the Council –
the chance to host the bloc’s six-month rotating presidency
make decisions that can deliver for people and nature.
and set agendas and priorities for the Union’s work. Their
It is therefore essential to promote civil society’s ‘presidency programmes’ can have a big impact on the
environmental concerns during European Parliament natural world.
elections, advocate for progressive European
EU decisions must be made with transparency,
Commissioners, and influence their mandates, strategies
accountability and participation at multiple levels and with
and work programmes. It is also essential to engage closely
the best interests of current and future generations. This
with the Commission, Parliament and Member States in
means making environment part of the EU’s DNA, so this
their day-to-day roles in developing and passing laws
crucial issue is always considered.

Our Strategy
Our strategy focuses on increasing political will by b) Encouraging the mainstreaming of environmental
highlighting the benefits of the policies we advocate and considerations in the Commission’s priorities, as
breaking down barriers to action. This should lead to reflected in its political guidelines and work programmes
better integration and good governance, manifested in as well as the mandates and responsibilities of
commitments and strategies and improved regulation and Commissioners;
environmental laws. In addition, wider political support c) Nudging EU presidencies towards broader and more
should help improve how citizens’ ideas and views are ambitious agendas with the EEB’s Ten Green Tests,
sought and taken on board, improving democratic decision Memoranda and Presidency assessments, as well as
making and legitimacy. Commitments to independence with inputs to Council Meetings;
of public authorities from undue influence of vested
d) Seeking to influence major policy strategies and their
interests and increased transparency and accountability
implementation, such as the 8th EAP, the European
are essential for wider good governance and decision
Green Deal, and sustainable Europe 2030 strategy to
making. Contradictions between laws will be removed, thus
implement the SDGs (see Global Processes);
achieving policy coherence.
e) Systematically pushing for increased transparency
Specific activities we will undertake to achieve our and accountability of the EU institutions, including the
goals include: possibility for NGOs to challenge actions through the
a) Ensuring that environmental concerns feature
f) Demanding that EU money is spent in line with strict
prominently in EU elections and in many Parliament
environmental principles and that no further funding is
debates, hearings and decisions;
made available to unsustainable projects.

Theory of Change for European
Institutions and Governance

Environmental Law and Justice
Ensuring that laws protect health and the environment
for current and future generations
The law is an important tool to protect the rights of people space for opportunistic politicians and other hostile actors
and nature. Progressive industry understands the benefits to create false choices with environmental policies pitted
of effective legislation, but too often vested interests lobby against social or economic priorities. These same forces also
hard to block, influence, undermine and even destroy seek to silence NGOs or limit their engagement.
environmental legislation. Current laws are sometimes
We need to promote the benefits of environmental
inadequate and often poorly implemented.
democracy, highlight the essential role of civil society in
In most cases environmental rights and priorities are seen functioning democracies and improve current laws and the
as separate from other interests, with environmental laws way they are put into practice.
conceived to be in a sphere of their own. This has left

Our Strategy
We need legislation that protects citizens’ rights, c) Fighting deregulation: by increasing understanding
health and the environment, and to improve and of the benefits of regulation, and reframing ‘better
defend existing legislation from attack. regulation’ as “re-protection” so that regulation is
considered a key tool to protect EU citizens’ rights and
We will achieve this by:
a) Representing the interests of the environment: by
d) Strengthening implementation by demonstrating good
formally contributing to and following public processes
practices and highlighting gaps in implementation so
that impact the environment, providing expertise and
that governments can be held accountable and live up to
information, giving a voice to nature and monitoring the
their responsibilities;
state of the environment and compliance;
e) Increasing enforcement and accountability by pushing
b) Securing civil society space by ensuring environmental
for stronger liability regimes, traceability, sanctioning,
rights: to have relevant information, to be part of
and making sure that the precautionary principle is
decision-making that affects the environment and to be
applied and that polluters pay.
able to challenge decisions where they are against the

Theory of Change for Environmental Law and Justice

Global and Regional Policies
Advocating for progressive environmental policies at global
and regional levels
Environmental challenges are global problems and global international agreements and their implementation. The
problems require global solutions: pollution does not stop at EU must contribute by putting better laws in place at home
borders, and climate breakdown and the biodiversity crisis and by taking leadership globally – at the UN, the OECD
threaten us all. and in other international and regional processes. The 2030
Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Governments have signed hundreds of international treaties
are an outstanding opportunity and key tool to strengthen
on environmental issues. Some have been very successful,
the EU’s own domestic policies and to lead by example.
yet pressures on nature keep increasing, key issues lack any
EU enlargement also offers an opportunity: EU accession
agreement, and governments face numerous challenges
and partnership agreements allow civil society to push for
putting commitments and rules into practice. Strong civil
rapid improvements of environmental standards in the EU’s
society participation in international and regional processes
immediate neighbourhood.
ensures accountability and transparency, improving

Our Strategy
We will advocate for progressive environmental policies at b) Building the capacity of environmental NGOs and
global and regional level and monitor their implementation broader civil society to take part in global and regional
at national and EU level. This, together with advocating processes and coordinating the input of environmental
for the ambitious implementation of the SDGs in and by NGOs in these processes;
the EU, should lead to stronger environmental laws not c) Acting as a watchdog and supporting the
only around the world but also at EU and Member State implementation of international and regional
level as well as in EU candidate and partnership countries. agreements, legal or political, in particular nudging the
In addition, stronger environmental organisations and EU and governments towards full and ambitious SDG
citizens well-informed about global and regional processes implementation;
improve participation, transparency and the legitimacy of
d) Empowering environmental NGOs in EU accession
international decision-making processes.
and partnership countries and pushing for rapid
Specific activities we will undertake to achieve our approximation to European environmental standards;
goals include: e) Ensuring that any company importing products
or services into the EU market complies with EU
a) Ensuring robust and progressive environmental policies
environmental standards;
at global and regional level through active contribution
f) Monitoring and reporting on how the EU’s external
to international and regional processes, including new
actions impact the environment;
legally binding agreements where possible, for instance
on chemicals, air quality or international environmental g) Cooperating with NGOs, governments and other players
governance, encouraging the EU and its Member in third countries where appropriate to jointly promote
States to be global leaders in the transformation to progressive solutions.
sustainability and push for progressive outcomes;

Theory of Change for Global and Regional Policies

Economic Transition
Building a socially just and sustainable economy
20 000 scientists warn that we face mass extinction overcome political, economic and social obstacles before
if we do not dramatically slow down resource use. tipping points are reached.
Material extraction has tripled in five decades, is still
There is evidence that a positive postgrowth economy
skyrocketing, and now accounts for more than 90 percent
gives more security and stability than the current economic
of global biodiversity loss and water stress impacts, and
system which is characterised by glaring inequalities
approximately half of global greenhouse gas emissions. Our
and expanding consumption of resources. But systemic
economic system is pushing both people and the planet to a
change is only possible by challenging and reversing the
burn-out. This has to stop.
concentration and repeated abuse of power in the hands
The good news is that a growing number of scientists are of those defending commercial interests regardless of
demonstrating how wellbeing without economic growth the consequences. We need to support the rising global
and within planetary boundaries is possible. Political movement fighting for environmental justice, the people
opportunities for change are not limited to elections. Deeper who block the extraction of fossil fuels and the destruction
political change has most often come from persistent of old growth forests and put their lives at risk to protect
collective civil disobedience, when a critical mass stands this one Earth that we can live on.
up to injustice and existential threats. It’s not too late to

Our Strategy
We need an economy that works for people and nature c) Ensuring that trade deals and subsidies are fully in line
which means we cannot afford to use more than the planet’s with sustainability principles;
finite resources and cannot allow vested interests to block d) Ensuring that all public money spent at EU, national and
the path to a just transition. This means: Living within municipal level reflects the principle that public money
our means through moving to a one-planet economy and should deliver public goods, including through requiring
demanding corporate accountability. We will achieve our green public procurement;
goals in these two areas by: e) Calling for just and effective taxes and pricing;

Living within our means Demanding corporate accountability

a) Reducing use of natural resources, energy and chemicals, f) Pursuing an international legally binding treaty on
by preventing waste and increasing efficiency, cutting transnational corporations and human rights and due
demand and putting forward positive post-growth diligence regulation at EU level;
policies g) Ending undue corporate influence on legislation through
b) Building a carbon-neutral, circular, non-toxic economy; secretive arbitration courts.

Theory of Change for Economic Transition

Advocating for and investing in nature for healthy
ecosystems and a productive environment

Mass extinction of species and climate breakdown are the Our nature supports the EU’s economy and jobs, food
two main environmental challenges of our modern society. production, health, resilience and security. It is imperative
Yet both challenges are intertwined, each exacerbating to achieve an urgent shift in our economy and society
the other. The most comprehensive global assessment of towards sustainability, where nature is valued and water is
biodiversity and ecosystems ever has recently confirmed sustainably managed. A substantial body of EU legislation
that the degradation of nature is continuing at an seeks to protect, conserve and enhance nature, to ease
unprecedented rate both globally and in the EU. Biodiversity the pressures on ecosystems and to protect surface and
loss and the water crisis are among the top risks facing groundwater. However, these laws have not been properly
our economy and society according to the World Economic implemented and suffer from a lack of financing. In addition,
Forum. In Europe, the main cause of this destruction is the EU has so far largely failed to include nature in key
unsustainable agriculture. Climate change is already putting policies like the Common Agricultural Policy. Adaptation to
additional pressures on nature and this is only expected to climate change will be an increasingly important element in
increase in the decade ahead. nature-related strategies.

Our Strategy
We will act in partnership with others focusing on the d) Promoting the mainstreaming of climate mitigation and
following activities to enable a shift towards sustainability: adaptation, nature and sustainable water policies across
a) Raising awareness of the values of nature and water other EU policies, and integrating agricultural policies
in order to increase political will of governments and with climate, air pollution, water and trade policies;
other stakeholders (e.g. farmers) to urgently address the e) Working to ensure that the EU’s nature and water
nature and water crises; legislation is properly implemented, enforced and
b) Advocating for nature protection and restoration as well financed – within the EU budget;
as sustainable water management achieved through new f) Working to reform financing and incentives that are
EU policies; harmful to nature and making sure economic instruments
c) Catalysing a transition towards a common food and contribute to protecting and restoring Europe’s nature
farming policy that supports nature, nutrition in the EU, and achieving sustainable water management;
employment and soils, reduces food waste and ensures g) Advocating for new and environmentally friendly ways
the long-term viability of EU farming; of agriculture, like e.g. organic/biological and nature-
inclusive agriculture.

Theory of Change for Nature

Circular Economy
Moving to a resource-efficient and clean economy
that creates jobs not waste

Year after year, Earth Overshoot Day, when “humanity’s – where resources are reused and recycled instead of used
demand for ecological resources and services in a given and thrown away – we just need to put them into practice.
year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year”, is
What counts as ‘circular’ is often debated, but we are
announced earlier than in previous years. While Circular
clear it means reducing virgin resource use and cutting the
Economy is promoted at EU level as a mainstream policy
environmental impacts of industry. Public and politicians
to deliver a wealthy and sustainable economy and a lever
alike must learn more about what a truly circular economy is
for decarbonization, its systematic application is still to be
and why it’s good news for everyone.
materialised for most economic sectors and markets. The
ratio of reused and recycled materials to total material use in It is also important to keep a critical eye on circular economy
the EU is 12% in 2018, despite record recycling rates. developments , notably to ensure actions do not neglect
natural eco-systems and human health.
We know which policy instruments and best practices will
accelerate the transition from a linear to a circular economy

Our Strategy
The overarching objective of the strategy will be to f) Working to ensure the circular economy’s place on the
achieve absolute reductions in resource extraction, less global agenda;
waste production and reduce pressure on planetary g) Supporting international projects and actions linking
boundaries.We will achieve this by: the circular economy with the Sustainable Development
a) Developing powerful narratives to stress the urgency of Goals;
transition; h) Working to close the loop on products, so that toxic free
b) Making circular economy desirable for different materials can flow iteratively through the economy;
stakeholders; i) Encouraging the development of market-based
c) Advocating a circular economy approach at EU level in instruments, including fiscal reform and procurement,
key economic sectors; to ensure circular products are promoted, and the
d) Anchoring circular economy further into climate policies; externalities of linear products are accounted for;
e) Linking circular economy to other social and j) Pushing for increased support for market surveillance;
environmental policies; k) Exposing ‘greenwashing’ to limit the misuse of the
circular economy concept.

Theory of Change for Circular Economy

Ensuring a rapid and just transition to a climate neutral economy
that protects people and nature from climate breakdown

Successive IPCC reports have underlined the risk These actions are also essential to tackle a biodiversity
of catastrophic climate breakdown resulting from a crisis of similar proportions, with a million species facing
continuation of the current business as usual. The solution the threat of extinction in the near future as identified by
is to dramatically accelerate and scale up our efforts to the IPBES global assessment report on biodiversity and
move to a net-zero economy. This requires a shift to 100% ecosystem services.
renewable energy, a halving of energy consumption and a
The ways that we produce and consume energy, grow food,
significant reduction of resource use by a move to a fully
provide shelter, get around and make things will need to
circular economy. It also requires a transformation of our
be transformed to stop climate change and ensure a better
industry, agriculture and transport policies among others.
future for both nature and people.

Our Strategy
We will address the key elements required to achieve a agriculture, soil and forestry as well as nature-based
societal transformation towards net-zero emissions and solutions for marine and terrestrial ecosystems that
focus on: provide natural carbon sinks (see Nature cluster);
a) Increasing awareness of the urgency and benefits of e) Supporting sustainable transport policies that promote
climate action and deepen collaboration with existing walking, cycling and public transport as well as cleaner
and new partners and coalitions to keep climate action and fewer motorized vehicles (see Health cluster and
high on the political agenda and present credible Economic Transitions);
solutions; f) Ensuring strong implementation and a revision of the
b) Advocating for the phase-out of fossil fuels, halving EU targets and national plans to bring them in line with
of energy demand well before 2050 and the pathways limiting global warming to 1.5 degree;
transformation to a highly efficient energy system g) Working on the financial flows and economic signals to
supplied by 100% nature-compatible renewable energy help catalyse progress. To make the energy transition a
and supported by appropriate energy infrastructures; success we must ensure the right economic framework
c) Establishing circular economy policies as an essential combining policy ambition, policy coherence, economic
enabler of a full decarbonisation of the economy, signals and implementation;
including in all sectors of industry, and achieving net- h) Working for increased awareness on consumption-
zero for the EU by 2040, building on EEB’s strong work based emissions as a means to change consumer and
on circular economy; public spending behaviour in all sectors, and advocate
d) Promoting land use policies that are fully compatible for the EU to develop statistics for consumption-based
with the Paris Agreement commitments and help emissions with the aim to set an ambitious EU wide
restore ecosystems, in particular in the areas of target for reducing these emissions.

Theory of Change for Climate

Health and Environment
Ending pollution to create a safe environment
for people and nature
Pollution is one of the most serious problems facing light pollution can help protect us from these threats and
humanity and other life forms on our planet today. European clean up the natural world.
laws and regulations have already had a big impact, but
Global pollution is not only the world’s largest environmental
there is still much more to be done.
cause of disease and premature death, but also endangers
Toxic substances in our environment have contributed to a the stability of the Earth’s ecosystems and threatens the
rise in severe health problems and are now widely found continuing survival of human societies. We have the tools to
in the food we eat, the air we breathe and the products we drastically cut pollution and help create a safe environment
use. EU and global laws and policies on industry, air quality, for people and nature.
chemicals - including mercury and pesticides – noise and

Our Strategy
We will work towards reducing the production, use, e) Regular high-quality monitoring and assessment by:
emission and release of and exposure to polluting and i. developing relevant IT tools for improved access to
harmful substances and sources. environmental information and public participation;
We will support the switch to safe, sustainable, circular and
decarbonised methods of production; and work for a swift ii. monitoring and assessing the enforcement of
reduction of harmful substances in all sectors and pollution existing legislation.
from all sources.
These objectives would be mainly achieved through the
We will push for a toxic-free environment and net-zero following areas of work:
pollution by: A. A Toxic-Free Environment
B. Towards a Zero Mercury world
a) Increasing public awareness and raising pressure on
decision-makers; C. Industrial activities moving beyond zero net pollution to
restoration of ecosystems
b) Demanding new political and legal commitments at
global, regional, European Union and national levels; D. Clean Air: Towards zero environmental and health
c) Improving the implementation and enforcement of
existing laws and regulations at global, European Union In addition, with the support of interested members, we will
and national level; seek opportunities to tackle other sources of pollution such
as noise and light.
d) Ensuring inclusive and transparent governance by:
The areas of work under the Health and Environment cluster
i. implementing democratic and environmental
– Chemicals, Nanomaterials, Mercury, Industry, Air, Noise
principles enshrined in the EU and international law
and Light - have strong links and interfaces with Climate,
and jurisprudence;
Circular Economy, Agriculture, Biodiversity and Financial and
ii. considering the social implications of any legislation
trade issues (see also other relevant chapters).
and policy;
iii. increasing accountability of decision- makers and

Theory of Change for Health and Environment

By 2030, the EEB will have been part debates and steer political agendas to the national print and broadcast press
of a shift in how the environmental achieve positive outcomes. and widely shared on social media.
movement communicates. We will Journalists will work with and for the
The reach and quality of EEB
help to move our audiences’ feelings EEB, steering the political agenda
communications work will have
about climate and environment from with well-researched, public interest
increased significantly, with detailed
those of shame, hopelessness or guilt stories.
quantitative and qualitative results
to pride, happiness and wellbeing.
demonstrating success in traditional Communications activities and
Thanks to a wide acceptance of the
print and broadcast media, social decisions will always be based on a
benefits of environmental action, and
media and our own websites. clear and compelling strategy. EEB
an increasingly thriving relationship
reports and publications will be
between people and nature, it will be The communications team will have
tailored to their audience and drafted
obvious and easy for the audiences we evolved with key parts of our work
with a clear understanding of their
target to agree with the policies we – like press, digital and META - the
purpose. The impact and relevance
advocate. responsibility of dedicated managers.
of communication materials will be
A significant percentage of the EEB’s
The EEB will speak with a clear and constantly assessed with feedback
funding will be linked to or sourced
distinctive voice that policy and gathered from relevant audiences.
from communication activities.
decision makers, our own members The brand will undergo an in-depth
and journalists all recognise as Our reputation and brand and that review at least once during the period
passionate, principled, professional, of our META news service will be of the strategy, including the issue of
positive and personal. Core messages well known within the environmental whether the name of the organisation
we developed and continue to repeat movement across Europe. META does full justice to our role or whether
will have helped to frame entire stories will be regularly picked up by a name change would be appropriate.

Priorities and actions Expected results
1. Agreeing a new vision that sets the tone for positive 1. More strategic communication will ensure
communication about the benefits of radical climate our ability to put new issues on the
and environmental action; agenda and achieve policy change;
2. Developing and delivering communication strategies 2. Communication team outputs and
that define our voice, set smart objectives, identify activities seen as a core benefit of EEB
key audiences, frame the debate and contain core membership;
messages; 3. The EEB takes more strategic decisions;
3. Building our capacity and understanding best 4. New funding is secured.
practice across a range of communication tools, and
exploring and developing new tools;
4. Reshaping the communications team to deliver
better work, more efficiently;
5. Shifting the political agenda at key moments,
1. Five detailed two-year communication
especially by harnessing the power of public data
strategies, starting for the period 2020-22;
and access to information laws to break compelling
new stories; 2. Increased social media and online reach;

6. Revisiting our flagship products to assess their 3. Increased media coverage (quantity and
impact and suitability to meet our goals; quality);

7. Strengthening cooperation with communications 4. Higher membership satisfaction;

teams in our member organisations in order to build 5. Higher membership engagement with our
capacity, exchange good practices and increase content.
membership engagement with our content.

Membership, partnerships and events
In the period 2020-2030, we will maintain large organisations, good geographical comprehensive network of environmental
and step up efforts to achieve the goal in spread and combination of national and citizens’ groups in Europe, demonstrate
our medium-term strategy 2016-2019 to European organisations will remain key to our representativeness and legitimacy,
become a more comprehensive umbrella the organisation. increase our access to key decision-
organisation for Europe’s environmental makers and, consequently, our influence
We will also reflect on how we wish to
and sustainability NGOs. and impact. By constantly improving the
grow beyond the EU, e.g. in candidate-
quality of our membership services, the
Following the implementation of the and Eastern partnership countries and
aim is to continue to keep membership
2018-2020 expansion strategy, the EEB beyond (our current categories for
retention rates high and resignation levels
will start the new decade by focusing associate and affiliate membership already
on consolidation and improving its makes it possible for legal entities from
membership services. Over the coming other continents to join). This reflection We will continue to engage with alliances
decade, we will grow in an organic way, may or may not lead to a review of our and coalitions where and to the extent
with our current members working as current categories and/or the creation of that these bring real added value and help
ambassadors to help with outreach and additional categories. the EEB to achieve its mission. While the
the recruitment of new members. In EEB will continue to be part of strategic,
We will continue to defend the principles
addition to encouraging membership cross-sectoral coalitions, environmental
of participatory democracy, provide a
applications from national NGOs, we will citizens’ groups will be encouraged to form
safe space for civil society to act and
encourage more European networks to environmental coalitions within the EEB.
help shape policies for a sustainable
join the EEB and will explore how the We will welcome all key environmental
future. With this organic growth
participation of such networks in the EEB NGOs in Europe to become members of
approach, we aim to have a diverse
as members can yield maximum mutual the EEB and strengthen our collective
and dynamic membership of some
benefit and avoid potential conflicts. voice. We will continue our tradition of
180-220 environmental organisations
Making sure that the membership stays working with like-minded stakeholders
by the end of 2030. This will further
diverse with a balanced mix of small and beyond our membership, such as social,
strengthen our position as the most

consumer and development NGOs, and other funding sources; possible, the EEB will advocate for the
thinktanks, trade unions and progressive d) Organise yearly advocacy trainings establishment of funding lines that could
businesses. for policy and communications staff support and expand our coordinating
from the member organisations. The role. A key aim is to secure additional
Over the coming years, the EEB will focus
participants would be encouraged to core funding from both public and private
on improving membership benefits linked
form an alumni network. This would sources before 2030 and diversify the
to training and capacity building with the
increase the chances of participants funding base.
aim of further developing our position
returning to the EEB as interns or
as the key, go-to network in Europe We also aim to generate revenue to
staff and acting as ambassadors for
for everyone advocating for stronger fund our campaigning work through
the network.
environmental and sustainability policies. crowdfunding, individual donors and from
As far as possible we will aim to make partnerships with progressive industries
We will aim to: events self-financed thanks to the support while always ensuring its independence
a) Improve what the working groups of donors, partnerships with suppliers and from any potentially compromising
offer our members (frequency, training institutes and fees paid by non- sources – in line with our fundraising
content and facilitation of meetings, member attendees. We will also explore policy.
communication tools); the possibilities and advantages and
disadvantages of setting up a separate Concerning the development of funding
b) Explore the possibilities and best proposals, agreed prioritisation criteria will
legal entity that would make it easier for
formats for setting up a secondment be applied to any new project proposal
the EEB to charge for services.
and staff exchange scheme for EEB before committing the organisation.
members and staff; When it comes to funders and donors, We will also routinely monitor calls and
c) Explore establishing of partnerships we will aim to establish relationships with suggest projects to our members. The aim
with training institutes and additional foundations, governments is to increase the number of joint projects
universities to develop the EEB’s and strategic partners, and promote our with and within the network over the
capacity building and training offer unique position as a unifying actor for coming years.
and access funding from Erasmus+ the environmental movement. Wherever

Priorities and actions
1. Improve membership benefits Expected results
package and services; 1. Broadened and deepened representation at national and
2. Establish training and capacity European level to keep strengthening the content of our
building schemes for EEB work and the legitimacy of our voice;
members and environmental 2. EEB recognised as the most comprehensive umbrella
advocates; network and key go-to network for environmental advocacy;
3. Establish partnerships 3. Members are proud ambassadors of the network;
with training institutes and 4. Training schemes strengthen the skills of eNGO volunteers
universities; and staff and help form alumni networks.
4. Increase the number of joint
projects with and between EEB
5. Develop an alternative business Indicators
model for events; 1. Numbers of members, diversity among new members (size,
6. Outreach to current and thematic focus, geographical spread) and membership
potential new funders and satisfaction rates;
donors, advocate for new 2. Membership retention and resignation rates;
funding lines for core support, 3. Number of trainings and capacity building opportunities
develop strategies for generating offered and satisfaction rates;
revenue from campaign work, 4. Number of joint projects within the network;
crowdfunding, individual donors
5. Number of new donors and new forms of core support.
and progressive industries.

Staff, organisation and governance
Following a period of rapid expansion core staff body to be well balanced be mutually beneficial for the sending
of the team in the late 2010s, we will between policy, communications, and hosting organisation.
focus the first period of the 2020s on operations and finance/administration.
By 2030, we expect the EEB staff
consolidation. As the organisation We will take steps to ensure that
body to have grown to between 60
grows, management processes our staff body is diverse in terms of
and 80 employees and for colleagues
and policies will need to develop geography, experience, age, gender
to be more mobile and work more
in step. Staff terms and conditions and personal background and we will
remotely compared to 2020. We
will be periodically revisited, and strive to ensure gender balance at all
will make sure to walk the talk
new benefits will be introduced as levels of the organisation. Teams will
and take action to reduce our own
the labour market evolves. As an work in a cross-cutting, horizontal
environmental impact when it comes
employer, the EEB will live up to its and flexible way. We will try out and
to our office, operations, activities,
values of democracy, fairness, respect, evaluate new forms of team structures
events and travels.
integrity and sustainability. Staff with the aim of improving internal
wellbeing will be put centre stage coordination and efficiency. The aim We will make sure that the agile
and the EEB will consider measures is to have a senior and junior person strategies in the LTS are regularly
such as, for instance, offering a 4-day covering all key topics the EEB works evaluated and adapted as society
working week for staff where feasible. on; such ‘duo-teams’ will help make and political landscapes change –
Decisions about new recruitments the EEB less vulnerable and reliant on it is crucial that we continuously
will be taken based on criteria for one person. In addition to our Brussels strengthen our capacity to navigate
sustainable growth. We will strive office, we will explore the possibility opportunities and threats. The EEB
to raise the necessary funding to of having paid EEB staff working from will also invest in making sure it stays
ensure sufficient staff capacity to members’ offices and members’ staff ahead of the curve and uses modern
cover all essential policy areas without working from our office for shorter tools that are fit for purpose and to
individual staff members being or longer periods of time– such make sure we have solid routines for
overstretched. The aim is for the secondments should be designed to monitoring, evaluation and learning.

Concerning governance, we will keep and European organisations and that geographical areas. The President
our statutes and the composition of it becomes what is today the Board. In (who could also be a well-known
our governance bodies under review this scenario, the current Board could public figure) should have an excellent
to make sure we remain an effective be transformed into something similar network and public speaking skills.
and efficient organisation for the to a Council of national and European The Board members should, via
coming decade. The EEB currently contact points that have a specific their networks, contribute to helping
has a large Board consisting of 42 task of staying in contact with the the EEB gain access not only to EU
members that meets three times a membership in their country/region, Environment Ministers but also to
year. While it is crucial for the EEB to act as the liaison person between the Finance, Foreign Affairs and Prime
have ‘antennae’ and national contact EEB office and members, advise on Ministers and other sectoral ministers
points that help coordinate the EEB country-specific issues and report (e.g. agriculture, energy, transport etc).
membership at national level and back to the EEB office. Such a Council
Reviewing the governance bodies and
dedicated contact people from our could either meet in connection with
possibly reducing the size of the Board
European network members, the the autumn Annual General Meeting
does by no means mean that the full
Board has grown too large for it to (AGM) or meet once a year in spring
membership would be less involved
continue to perform some of the (e.g. opposite side of the year). Board
or consulted. We will strive to ensure
functions that would normally be members should ideally be Directors
that the AGM remains a well-attended,
carried out by a Board. The EEB will or otherwise in senior positions in
interactive networking event. Polls and
therefore explore different options their own organisations and have a
online decision making with the full
for its various governance bodies and strong mandate to implement and
membership via working groups and
agree on a way forward. One option follow up on agreed EEB decisions
other forums throughout the year will
could be that the ExCom grows to back home and in their regions. The
also help to ensure we remain a truly
8-12 members with a good balance composition of the Board should strike
democratic organisation.
in representation between national a good balance between gender and

Priorities and actions
Expected results
1. Implement and review criteria for sustainable
staffing levels; 1. A modern and attractive workplace with flexible solutions
for staff and a highly skilled, healthy, content, diverse and
2. Implement and evaluate staff wellbeing and
motivated team;
training plans;
2. An LTS that works as an operational framework for evaluating
3. Increase earmarked funding for staff wellbeing
achievements and as a learning tool;
and training per capita in EEB budget;
3. A governance structure that is fit for purpose and ensures
4. Review and improve strategies to ensure
effective and efficient operations.
diversity in the EEB staff body;
5. Review and improve strategies to reduce the
EEB’s environmental impact;
6. Explore the possibility of having more staff Indicators
work remotely; 1. Staff wellbeing, retention and satisfaction rates;
7. Monitor labour market developments and 2. Number of staff training and capacity building opportunities
new contract forms that might suit the offered and satisfaction rates;
organisation; 3. Level of funding for staff wellbeing and training;
8. Experiment with different types of cross- 4. Level of diversity (age, gender, geography, ethnicity, personal
cutting team compositions; background etc) of staff body;
9. Organize evaluation of the LTS regularly, adapt 5. Reduction in environmental impact of EEB operations and
where needed and train staff in using the travels;
strategy as an integral part of their work with
6. Extent to which LTS works as a tool for adapting and learning;
the membership and policy;
7. Extent to which statutory and governance changes increases
10.Review the organisation’s statutes and
the organisation’s efficiency and effectiveness.
governance models.

Staff, organisation and governance



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