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EU Makes Landmark Steps Toward an Overarching Strategy on SDGs

Monday, September 30, 2019

President-Elect Von der Leyen claimed that the new Commissioners will be collectively and individually responsible for the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. In the meantime, CSR Europe is building the greatest mobilization of CEOs ever in Europe, calling the business leaders to act for a Sustainable Europe 2030.


Ursula von der Leyen, President-Elect of the European Commission, presented last month the Mission Letters addressed to the Commissioners-Designate, whose hearings in front of the Parliament will take place in October. These letters are a crucial element in the definition of the individual and collective mandates of the future College of Commissioners, and have been presented right after the publication of the divulgation of the new allocation of portfolios among Commissioners, which might still be subject to last-minute changes due to an eventual Parliament’s opposition to one of the nominees or due to Brexit delays. To share more insights about the incoming Commission, CSR Europe will organise an EU Update webinar open to its members October 31.

All the 27 Mission Letters contain the following remark:

Each Commissioner will ensure the delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals within their policy area. The College as a whole will be responsible for the overall implementation of the Goals.”

Such an initiative couples with another powerful promise made by President-elect von der Leyen in her Agenda A Europe that Strives for More, which is to” refocus the European Semester into an instrument that integrates the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals”. The European Semester is one of the most powerful instruments at disposal of the European Institutions, providing the framework for the coordination of economic policies whereby the EC can assess the progress of Member States in achieving economic and financial targets.

The integration of the SDGs in the European Semester and in the mandate of the College of Commissioners is a landmark step to give Europe the means to build an overarching strategy on SDGs, and echoes one of the boldest proposals made by the Multi-Stakeholders Platform on SDGs, which CSR Europe co-drafted and that was signed by 30 leaders of the civil society, among which Etienne Davignon, President of CSR Europe. Through its input, and with the collaboration of Vice-President Timmermans, currently designated for the post of First Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, the platform facilitated the realisation of the European Commission’s Reflection Paper “Toward a Sustainable Europe by 2030”, creating a momentum that, If von der Leyen promises, will be delivered, may finally make the mainstreaming of SDGs in European policymaking a reality.

In this crucial phase, CSR Europe is building the greatest mobilization of CEOs ever in Europe, who signed the Call to Action to urge the New EU Leaders to work for a Sustainable Europe by 2030. The CEOs Call has more than 250 signatories and it is still open to new endorsements. CSR Europe will present it to the European Leaders at the end of the year.


More Information:

CSR Europe's Call to Action

Endorse the Call to Action