The 2030 Agenda represents a breakthrough in multilateral cooperation, in the sense that it puts social and human development on a par with economic progress, and sees these three dimensions as a whole. Whereas the MDGs (Millennium Development goals) addressed primarily developing countries, this new Agenda is a transformational and universal agenda for all countries, and promotes a new, inclusive and participatory method of decision-making.
The EU showed significant leadership in the process leading up to the adoption of the new SDGs (Sustainable Development Goasl). The opinion stresses that the EU needs to hold up its credibility both internally and externally, when it comes to implementing the Agenda and its 17 goals. Pointing to the universal and indivisible nature of the Agenda, the opinion underlines the importance of an EU response at the highest level, providing a robust base on which an overarching EU strategy should be founded. The opinion also calls upon civil society in Europe and worldwide, to play its role in monitoring the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and in bringing the debate on the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals to the capitals.
The 2030 Agenda is an action plan for people, planet and prosperity. It sets 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets in order to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve. The targets seek to ensure everyone's human rights and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible, and they balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. They are also to be implemented according to the principle of "leaving no-one behind".
The own-initiative opinion will approach the 2030 Agenda by focusing on how the EU could contribute by using its external action instruments that are linked to funding; on the EU's contribution to defining indicators; on coordination mechanisms and the involvement of civil society; and on the implications for the EU of implementing the principle of "leaving no-one behind".
“Building the Europe We Want” (June 2015) is the Report of a Study by Stakeholder Forum for the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and its Sustainable Development Observatory(SDO) on how best to engage different stakeholders in the implementation, monitoring and review of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the EU level.
Currently under review, Europe 2020 is the EU's sole long-term strategy. Despite the fact that Europe is showing the first signs of slight economic recovery, the social crisis is still deepening. Europe has to find its way out and reinvent its jobs and growth strategy. Therefore the EESC is organizing a conference based on interactive stakeholders' involvement, with the focus on present and future social, economic and environmental challenges. This will be an occasion for policy makers and stakeholders to engage in a constructive debate in order to focus the reform efforts on making the EU more resilient.
Following the great success of the first edition of this innovative guide to the terminology of sustainable construction in the EU, the EESC together with its partner CEMBUREAU and European Architects' Council has improved and updated the publication and is now launching the 2nd edition, both as a practical printed spiral bound booklet and an online and mobile version.
In response to the need for more sustainable construction, new concepts, phrases, terms and expressions are being used in the construction industry across Europe. These concepts are aimed at improving the environmental, social and economic impact of the industry and its outputs. From Air Source Heat Pumps to Net Zero Carbon Buildings; from Whole Life Costing to Photovoltaic Electricity; from Recycled Resources to Passive House; it is important that the industry reaches a common understanding of these terms – to speak a common language for sustainable construction – in order to provide a base for harmonised development in the future.
Second Edition for this version only
As part of the EESC's food waste initiative, one of the "Wind of Change" projects supported by the Committee's president, Mr Malosse, the EESC is hosting this photo exhibition.
On 13 and 14 February 2014, over 150 civil society representatives gathered at the EESC to discuss their positions on a global Post-2015 framework for sustainable development. Participants from local, regional and national authorities, EU and UN level policy-makers, social partners, environment, development, human rights, agriculture and consumer organisations; industry, business and academia brought a wealth of perspectives into the debate. This summary of key points, prepared by the Conference organisers, will be brought to the attention of EU decision-makers in order to contribute to the formulation of a strong EU negotiating position on the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda.