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.
Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who chairs the Platform, said: "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."
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."
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.
The Communication 'Next Steps for a Sustainable European Future', adopted by the Commission on 22 November 2016, announced the launch of a multi-stakeholder platform, chaired by First Vice-President Timmermans, to play a role in the follow-up and exchange of best practices on the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Platform brings together a diverse group of high level representatives with different backgrounds and areas of knowledge. Experts from academia, non-governmental organisations, business, civil society, the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Committee of the Regions advise the Commission on delivering the SDGs at EU level, and exchange best practices at local, regional, national and EU level.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their 169 associated targets are global in nature, universally applicable and interlinked. All countries, developed and developing alike, have a shared responsibility to achieve the Development Goals.
The EU's answer to the 2030 Agenda includes two work streams. The first work stream is to fully integrate the Development Goals in the European policy framework and current Commission priorities. A second track includes the reflection on our longer term vision and the focus of sectoral policies after 2020.
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