Social Platform’s President hands over the contribution of the high-level multi-stakeholder platform on the Sustainable Development Goals to the European Commission
Image: Social Platform’s President Jana Hainsworth hands over the contribution of the high-level multi-stakeholder platform on the Sustainable Development Goals to First Vice-President Frans Timmermans.
On 11 October, the EU Commission’s high-level multi-stakeholder platform on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted the contribution to the forthcoming Commission Reflection Paper “Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030”. Starting from a targeted consultation on the long-term implementation of the SDGs and the Paris agreement on climate change in February 2018, a drafting team from the platform’s management committee was appointed to write the contribution based on inputs by a wide range of platform representatives from the public sector, civil society and the private sector. The final consensus and joint endorsement of the contribution by all members of the platform is a strong signal for Europe to swiftly move forward on implementing the SDGs.
Social Platform, along with Concord, Committee of the Regions, CSR Europe and the European Environmental Bureau, was member of the core drafting team. Considering the different background, expertise and interests of the multi-stakeholder platform members, a common trajectory for sustainable development had to be developed in several steps, accompanied by three rounds of consultation with all members as well as bi-lateral negotiations with some of them in a continued effort to achieve a compromised text. The outcome presents, inter alia, recommendations on a Sustainable Europe 2030 strategy to guide all EU policies and programmes, fundamental principles to enable a just and fair transition, the mainstreaming of SDGs in key governance mechanisms such as the European Semester cycle, and recommendations on key EU policy areas which encompass social, economic, environmental and governance dimensions of sustainable development in a synergistic manner.
As stated in the foreword to the contribution by First-Vice President Timmermans and Vice-President Katainen, the report is not an end in itself, but part of a collaborative process in building a sustainable future for Europe. Hence it will be crucial to build on this broad dialogue while planning the future of work of the multi-stakeholder platform, which also includes three members of the Social Platform: the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), COFACE Families Europe and the European Youth Forum. With respect to next year’s political agenda, this work is a key element in the debate on the Future of Europe and will be presented together with the European Commission’s reflection paper (due to come out early 2019) to European leaders at the Sibiu Summit in May 2019. It should also provide a guiding compass on the SDGs in the run up to the European elections, while informing EU’S post-2020 political priorities (including in the remaining multi-annual financial framework negotiations) as well as the 2019 High-level Political Forum (HLPF) at the United Nations in New York.
Image: All participants of the meeting with Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission.