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Europe 2030: Large stakeholder group agrees on how to implement SDGs!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

On Thursday 11 October, the Commission's high level multi-stakeholder platform on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) met for the second time to present input to the Commission Reflection Paper 'Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030'.

CSR Europe, together with other organisations, has been behind the creation of the Multi-stakeholder Platform on the SDGs advocated with the European Commission on the importance of a forward-looking strategy for the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals at European level.

Since the start of the work of this Platform, CSR Europe has been also very active in a number of working groups, such as on the first-ever Sustainability Prize and on CSR, as well as involved in the drafting of the Platform report launched on 11th October, together with other four organizations: CONCORD, Committee of the Regions, Social Platform and European Environmental Bureau.

The Platform members adopted a joint contribution to the Commission's Reflection Paper 'Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030', which will be presented soon as part of the Future of Europe debate launched by President Juncker. The Platform's contribution will help the Commission in the ongoing preparation of the Reflection Paper and its future work in this field. The Platform's contribution includes a number of recommendations for the EU to ensure policy coherence, ambition and vision towards the achievement of sustainable development in Europe.

"It is so encouraging to see such a broad group of stakeholders coming together and agreeing on the way forward on implementing the SDGs – from Birdlife Europe to BusinessEurope we have managed to get everybody on the same page. This is a minor miracle, and is good news for people and for the planet," said Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who chairs the Platform.

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, added: "This is Europe at its best: building consensus among various stakeholders, on the single most important topic for our future: sustainability. I am grateful for this crucial contribution, from which we should all learn."

Context of the event:

Following the adoption of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, the European Commission is proceeding with the translation of SDGs within the EU. Among other initiatives, it has created a multi-stakeholder's platform on SDGs, where its 30 members, representing a wide variety of interests, advise on SDGs delivery and help to speed up its process. The creation of the platform itself already highlights a new drive towards inclusiveness; it shows that the EU is shifting towards new ways of governance to face the challenge of sustainability, thereby maximizing the potential of all actors to contribute to SDGs.

Outcome of the event:

The Platform suggests, among other things, that the EU develop an overarching Sustainable Europe 2030 strategy to guide all EU policies and programmes. They suggest strengthening policy coherence for development, for example by aligning the European Semester process, EU public finances and financial regulations, and the EU's long-term decarbonisation plans with the SDGs. The Platform members also propose ideas in policy areas considered vital for achieving the SDGs such as social inclusion, sustainable consumption and production, climate and energy, food, farming and land-use, and cohesion.

The Platform members welcomed at yesterday's meeting a delegation of independent scientists that presented the initial findings of the UN Global Sustainable Development Report. Finally, Platform members discussed plans for their future work, and were updated on the European Sustainability Award 2019.

Photos of the event: