Over the course of EYFA’s existence, the network has focused its energy on a wide variety of projects all across Europe. Out of these projects, patterns have emerged that point to some of EYFA’s priorities.
Developed by the network, office and Board, and re-evaluated each year at network strategy meetings, these priorities provide focus for EYFA’s work. While we prioritize these two areas, we continue to offer support to some groups whose work does not fall exclusively into one of these categories.
Social and Environmental Justice
EYFA’s perspective is based on the understanding that social and environmental problems are deeply interlinked and are also expressed in patterns of economic injustice. Socially sustainable and just communities go hand in hand with environmentally sound ways of living. Sustainability and alternatives to the growth paradigm have always been part of EYFA’s social justice projects and vice versa. EYFA’s many climate justice, energy and environmental projects have aimed to draw the links between economic growth-obsession and the exploitation and destruction of our natural and human environment as well as excluding large populations from access to resources.
Social, cultural, institutional or individual beliefs and practices exist which privilege some human beings and exclude, by subordination and oppression, others based on attributes of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or class, among many other distinctions. EYFA believes that social and economic exclusion are tied into histories of patriarchy and colonialism, as well as war, profit and power. These experiences have at times given rise to equally oppressive and excluding practices and policies. If we are to create a peaceful society free from hierarchy, exploitation and oppression that instead respects the autonomy and dignity of all human beings, the way these forces interact must be recognized and called out. These oppressions must also be tangibly addressed through active practices of inclusion. Our current work includes many grassroots groups working towards social and institutional inclusion, peace-building, intercultural dialogue, gender equality, and safer spaces while vehemently combating right-wing extremism, nationalism, racism and homophobia.