The EESC issues between 160 and 190 opinions and information reports a year.
It also organises several annual initiatives and events with a focus on civil society and citizens’ participation such as the Civil Society Prize, the Civil Society Days, the Your Europe, Your Say youth plenary and the ECI Day.
The EESC brings together representatives from all areas of organised civil society, who give their independent advice on EU policies and legislation. The EESC's326 Members are organised into three groups: Employers, Workers and Various Interests.
The EESC has six sections, specialising in concrete topics of relevance to the citizens of the European Union, ranging from social to economic affairs, energy, environment, external relations or the internal market.
The first National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS) of Cyprus was approved in November 2007. It includes the main topics and subject areas of the renewed EU Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS), covering all three dimensions of SD.
Cyprus published its first national report on implementing EU SDS in 2007.
Cyprus has started working on an evaluation and applicability examination of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) through an inter-ministerial committee since 2016.
Directorate General for European Programs, Coordination and Development.
The House of Representatives’ Committee for the Environment
Ministry of Labor, Welfare and Social Insurance
Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism
Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment
Lead and supporting government bodies
Cyprus’ institutional mechanism for the implementation of Agenda 2030 is comprised mainly of Ministries and other governmental services and falls under the coordination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Cyprus adopted its Sustainable Development strategy in 2007, including the following main targets:
supporting the protection of the natural environment;
promoting social justice and cohesion;
fostering economic prosperity;
undertaking international responsibilities.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs supported inclusive decision making in formulating new initiatives and interventions to raise awareness on the SDGs.
Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals
In order to foster the implementation of the SDGs, a relevant ministry has been assigned as coordinator for each of the 17 goals. A mapping exercise was initiated at the end of 2016, aiming to define stakeholders, national or EU strategies and indicators, if applicable, for each of the targets. The mapping outlines the national priorities (mainly SDGs 1, 3, 7, 8 and 9, as well as SDGs 4 and 14) and the policies prepared to achieve them.
In May 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education and Culture jointly launched an online survey to explore Cypriot public opinion as to the national priorities for SD and to assess the degree to which people consider that Cyprus is making progress in terms of welfare and development. The results were taken into account for Cyprus’s Voluntary National Review (VNR) to the HLPF in July 2017.
National policies on SD have been guided by and linked to the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy.
Involvement in implementation of Sustainable Development Goals
Stakeholders were involved in the general consultation process for the preparation of the NSDS. In addition to taking part in public inquiry meetings, stakeholders could submit written comments to the draft strategy, which were, when possible, incorporated in the final NSDS.
Environmental NGOs are encouraged to get involved in the environmental and SD policy formulation process; some are already members of the Council for the Environment.
During the second semester of 2017, local civil society organisations (CSOs) have been awarded EU projects specifically targeting the promotion of awareness raising on SDGs. Currently, they have an active role in drafting, communicating and implementing the initiatives for raising awareness concerning the SDGs among local citizens.
On the occasion of the European Year for Development 2015 (EYD2015), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and the Cypriot platform of non-governmental development organisations (CYINDEP), shaped and implemented activities, which aimed at creating citizens’ awareness of global issues with a special emphasis on youth.
Cypriot CSOs also act as multipliers through a pool of expert trainers that contribute to raise awareness on the SDGs among the general public and civil society organisations.
Cyprus ranks 61st in the SDG global index ranking of 2019
In 2016, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiated the process of evaluating Agenda 2030 in Cyprus in order to identify areas where Cyprus needed to focus its short, medium and long-term planning.
The Cypriot Statistical Service gathered all indicators available for the VNR (2017)
Remaining indicators will be selected in collaboration with the Statistical Service, and benchmarks and targets will be set by the competent authorities.
Voluntary National Report
Best practices include the provision of free and easily accessible education to everyone at all education levels, without discrimination, addressing the challenge of Cyprus’s limited water resources and supplying excellent quality drinking water to consumers, as well as the efforts towards combating human trafficking, by effectively enforcing new legislation and expanding the role and competences of the Police Anti-Trafficking Bureau.
The main challenges for Cyprus include addressing a high public debt and a relatively high unemployment rate after the economic crisis, the low contribution of the agricultural sector to GDP, energy dependency on imported sources, under-representation of women in political and public life, the need for a sustainable consumption policy, a high percentage of non-attainment in mathematics, science and reading and the need to increase Official Development Assistance to reach the desired level.
The assignment of the Administrative Reform Unit (in the office of the Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus) as coordinator for the implementation of Agenda 2030 at domestic level, with the competency to overview future strategies and ensure incorporation of the SDGs in relevant policy spheres, marks a very significant step towards timely and effective implementation of the SDGs.
Cyprus's Voluntary National Review can be accessed here.