Friends of the Earth Europe

Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) is the European branch of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, Friends of the Earth International (FOEI). It includes 33 national organizations and thousands of local groups.[1]

Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE)
TypeNon-governmental organization
FocusEnvironmentalism, sustainability, human rights
Area served
MethodLobbying, research, direct action
33 national member groups
Key people
Jagoda Munič (Director)
David Heller
Adrian Bebb
Paul de Clerck
Agnieszka Komoch

The Friends of the Earth Europe office in Brussels fulfills a number of functions. It represents the network's member groups towards the European institutions aiming to influence EU-policymaking; raises public awareness of environmental issues; runs capacity building projects for its membership, and is a secretariat for its 33 national members. The FoEE office is located in a sustainable building housing Belgian and European NGOs near the European Parliament in Brussels.[2]

FoEE Member organisationsEdit

Country Name Website
Austria Global 2000
Belgium (Flanders & Brussels) Friends of the Earth Vlaanderen & Brussel (Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels)
Belgium (Wallonia) Amis de la Terre Belgique
Bosnia and Herzegovina Centar za životnu sredinu (Center for Environment)
Bulgaria Za Zemiata (For the Earth)
Croatia Zelena Akcija (Green Action)
Cyprus Friends of the Earth Cyprus
Czech Republic Hnutí Duha (Rainbow Movement)
Denmark NOAH
England/Wales/Northern Ireland (EWNI) Friends of the Earth (EWNI)
Estonia Eesti Roheline Liikumine (Estonian Green Movement)
Finland Maan ystävät (Friends of the Earth)
France Les Amis de la Terre (Friends of the Earth - France)
Georgia Sakhartvelos Mtsvaneta Modzraoba (Greens Movement of Georgia)
Germany Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND)
Hungary Magyar Természetvédok Szövetsége (National Society of Conservationists)
Ireland Friends of the Earth
Latvia Zemes Draugi (Friends of the Earth)
Lithuania Lietuvos Zaliuju Judéjimas (Lithuanian Green Movement)
Luxembourg Mouvement Ecologique (Ecological Movement)
Macedonia Dvizhenje na Ekologistite na Makedonija (Ecologists Movement of Macedonia)
Malta Moviment ghall-Ambjent (Friends of the Earth (Malta))
The Netherlands Vereniging Milieudefensie (Environmental Defence)
Norway Norges Naturvernforbund (Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature)
Poland Polski Klub Ekologiczny (Polish Ecological Club)
Russia Russian Social-Ecological Union
Scotland Friends of the Earth Scotland
Slovakia Priatelia Zeme Slovensko (Friends of the Earth Slovakia)
Slovenia Focus
Spain Amigos de la Tierra (Friends of the Earth)
Sweden Jordens Vänner (Friends of the Earth)
Switzerland Pro Natura
Ukraine Zelenyi Svit


The current campaign priorities of Friends of the Earth Europe are:

Climate justice and energyEdit

Friends of the Earth Europe is "working to create the much-needed, fair and urgent transition to a fossil fuel free Europe. It wants to deliver a 100% renewable, no nuclear, super energy-efficient, zero-fossil-fuel Europe by 2030."[3]

The organization calls for radical improvements in energy efficiency, an accelerated phase-out of fossil fuels, a dramatic shift towards community-owned renewable energies, and reduced overall resource consumption and lifestyle changes. This often means targeting extractive industries, especially those who are involved in fracking and tar sands extraction.[4][5][6]

Food, agriculture and biodiversityEdit

The organization has been a key participant in the European movement against GMOs which has been successful in stopping the planting of GM crops across most of Europe.[7]

The organization advocates for more environmentally friendly, equitable and sustainable farming. This includes campaigning to reform the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in ways that can mitigate climate change emissions[8] (especially through reducing reliance on soy imports for livestock[9]), protect biodiversity, and stop the collapse of family farming in Europe's agriculture sector.

FoEE has also been active in its opposition to EU trade deals, such as the CETA agreement with Canada and TTIP with the US, because of a belief that those trade deals do not support human rights and the environment.[10]

One of FoEE's campaigns aims to protect nature and biodiversity by supporting local groups in their preservation initiatives.[11]

Economic JusticeEdit

Friends of the Earth Europe's economic justice program is occupied with the influence of companies over EU decision-making and the economic, social and environmental consequences of corporate practices. It works to expose cases of corporate capture of EU regulation and examples of the influence of corporate interests over EU policy process which often results in a lack of regulation or weak regulation.[12][13][14]

The program looks into the issue of European companies which have subsidiaries outside of Europe. Such subsidiaries of multinational companies often fail to respect EU laws and workers’ rights when operating abroad, and victims too often do not have access to justice. It campaigns for guarantees that companies abide by the same safety and social standards for their workers and facilities outside of Europe as in Europe; and that European companies are held accountable for their practices outside of Europe, in particular in cases of abuses.[15]

In the area of lobby transparency, FoEE looks at how companies exert their influence over and sometimes directly shape decision-making in the EU. It campaigns in favor of transparency in business influence and more balanced representation of stakeholders in EU policy making. FoEE has been active in exposing cases of revolving door scandals, misleading lobby registrations and deceptive lobby practices. It has been lobbying EU Commission and Parliament in favor of stricter EU legislation in order to close the current loopholes and prevent such scandals.[16]

Resource justice and sustainabilityEdit

FoEE recognizes and promotes the environmental, economic and social benefits of reducing Europe's resource consumption. They focus on reducing Europe's land, water, materials and carbon use – including the embedded resources Europe consumes beyond its borders.[17][18][19]

The organization promotes the reuse and recycling of materials, opposes incineration, and is calling for the full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the EU 2030 Agenda.[20]

School of SustainabilityEdit

FoEE's School of Sustainability project is inspired by the Latin American Escuela de la Sustentabilidad. Driven by popular education techniques, the project aims to strengthen the regional network of Friends of the Earth Europe, and create common political analyses for a system of change from environmental justice and human rights abuses to challenging power.[21]


FoEE is an active member of many coalitions working on environmental issues in Europe including:

Youth Network (Young Friends of the Earth Europe)Edit

In 2007 a youth network called Young Friends of the Earth Europe (YFoEE), was established by national Young Friends of the Earth groups affiliated to FoE member groups. YFoEE is an autonomous and self organised youth-led network, with structures and ways of working set and led by young people, yet retains strong links to Friends of the Earth Europe and the Friends of the Earth International Federation and their mission, vision and values.[24]

The YFoEE network unites youth organisations and youth groups working on social and environmental justice in Europe, and runs campaigning and educational activities for young people on a European level. It consists of youth member groups in 15 countries from both EU and Non EU countries, including Natur og Ungdom (Norway),[25] BUNDjugend (Germany)[26] or YFoE Ukraine.[27]

The key campaigning topic of the network since 2007 has been advocating for climate justice, in particular opposing what it considers to be false solutions to climate change,[28] such as nuclear energy,[29][30] and educating young people to create a youth movement for climate justice. In 2010, YFoEE hosted a parallel convergence to the COP16 UN Climate Talks in Cancún, Mexico, in Brussels, Belgium as an alternative forum to the International political negotiations and to build the regional European Youth Climate Movement.[31]

YFoEE has been active as part of the Youth Climate Movement and youth delegation at the UNFCCC international climate negotiations, and is one of the founding members of European Youth Climate Movement.[32]

Ways of workingEdit

The YFoEE network is supported by a secretariat in the office of FoEE in Brussels, and coordinated by a Steering Group of 8 volunteers, elected from the YFoEE network annually at the Annual General Meeting. Campaigns and events are led and developed by individual volunteers and representatives of member groups who make up working groups.[33]


Friends of the Earth Europe receives funding from a variety of government and non-government sources. These include the European Commission under the ‘LIFE+ regulation’, the European Climate Foundation, Oak Foundation, and Isvara Foundation, amongst others. It also gets membership fees from national Friends of the Earth groups.[34]


  1. ^ "About us". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  2. ^ "Mundo-b - Mundo-b". (in French). Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  3. ^ "Fossil Free Europe". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  4. ^ "Renewable energy". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  5. ^ "Extractive industries". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  6. ^ "Energy savings". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  7. ^ "GMOs". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  8. ^ "The Common Agricultural Policy". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  9. ^ "Soy change: time to stop South America paying the price for Europe's factory farms". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  10. ^ "EU-US trade deal". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  11. ^ "Nature". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  12. ^ "Corporate capture". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  13. ^ "Conflicts of interest". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  14. ^ "Deregulation". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  15. ^ "Corporate accountability". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  16. ^ "Lobby transparency". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  17. ^ "Water use". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  18. ^ "Extractive industries". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  19. ^ "Land". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  20. ^ "Materials and waste". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  21. ^ "School of Sustainability". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  22. ^ "Green 10 Website". Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  23. ^ "CEE Bankwatch Network Website". Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  24. ^ "Young Friends of the Earth Europe Website". Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  25. ^ "Natur og Ungdom Website" (in Norwegian). 2012-10-31. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  26. ^ "BUNDjugend Website". Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  27. ^ "YFoE Ukraine Website". Archived from the original on 2011-09-06. Retrieved 2011-02-09.
  28. ^ "HOODWINKED IN THE HOTHOUSE: False Solutions to Climate Change". Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  29. ^ "Don't nuke our climate!". YFoEE. December 9, 2010.
  30. ^ "YFoEE Cancun in Brussels Nuclear Tour". FoEE YouTube Channel. December 8, 2010.
  31. ^ "Why 'Cancùn in Brussels'?". YFoEE. November 29, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  32. ^ L aura, Sep 30, 2009 3:47 PM (2009-09-30). "European Youth Climate Movement Website". Retrieved 2012-11-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  33. ^ "How we work". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  34. ^ "Our funding". Friends of the Earth Europe. Retrieved 2017-07-17.