Implementing the SDGs in the EU
30 November 2016
The European Commission adopted the sustainable development package on Tuesday 22 November 2016.
The three Communications and the related Staff Working Documents (SWD) are the results of the work of the project team made up of 20 Commissioners and headed by the Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans.
Building on the progress of the Millennium Developments Goals, the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda depart from the MDGs’ logic and present two new features: their universality and interconnections. In fact the 17 SDGs are interlinked and they apply to all countries, not only to the ‘developing’ countries.
This means that the European Commission looked not only to the external action through their Communications on ‘a new European Consensus on development’ and on ‘a renewed partnership with the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific’, but also to the implementation of the SDGs in the EU.
This is reflected in the Communication ‘Next steps for a sustainable European future - European action for sustainability’ and better detailed in the related SWD ‘ Key European action supporting the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals’ that focuses on domestic/EU oriented actions.
On Monday 28 November two European Parliament Committees (ENVI and DEVE) invited the UN Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the SDGs, Mr David Nabarro, to discuss the European Parliament involvement in the Agenda 2030 process and to stress the importance of the involvement of civil society and business community because “the Agenda 2030 is ‘the plan’ for the future since we do not have a ‘spare’ planet”.
On Tuesday 29 November the ENVI Committee invited the Director General of DG ENV, Daniel Calleja Crespo, for an exchange of views on the SDGs implementation in the EU. The Communication ‘Next steps for a sustainable European future - European action for sustainability’ represents only a map of the current EU policies that recognise the importance of sustainable development which ultimately is a European brand. The point of departure for the EU is good, as the Eurostat statistics and indicators show.
Mr. Calleja also outlined the concrete steps forward: the integration of the SDGs in the EU2020 Strategy while launching the work for the post EU2020 agenda and the next Multiannual Financial Framework. The 7th Environmental Action Program and the European Semester are also two important tools to deliver the SDGs.
A multistakeholder platform will also be created and a High-Level Policy Summit will be held on the 20 December to involve the civil society and the business community.
Water matters. EU matters.