Sustainable development

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    The European Union must get closer to its citizens and become the global leader in sustainable development, argues the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in a bold opinion on the future of the EU, which was adopted at its plenary session in March. In this opinion, the Committee calls for a new EU strategy which takes a holistic and cross-sector policy approach centred around Europeans' needs and sustainability, and puts forward policy recommendations touching on eleven priorities.

  • The European Union urgently needs a new, ambitious and clear strategy for its future. Cohesion policy must be an integral part of it. New provisions for cohesion policy post-2020 must provide for sufficient means and guarantee improved policy efficiency and visibility, urges the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in an exploratory opinion on the future of cohesion policy, requested by the Romanian Council Presidency.

  • The member states of the European Union must strengthen stakeholder involvement in their efforts to reform national economies. Together with a new long-term EU strategy for sustainable development, improved stakeholder involvement could help create a more efficient and inclusive European semester that enjoys the support of society and is prepared to tackle the challenges facing the EU.

    These are some of the main findings of a public hearing held by the European Semester Group of the European Economic and Social Committee, chaired by Gonçalo Lobo Xavier (ESG president), on 28 February. This hearing focused on the state and outlook of the European economy and analysed stakeholder involvement in the European semester process. Through the hearing, the Committee wished to facilitate an exchange between national and European stakeholders and gather ideas on how to improve the European semester.

  • The government, representatives of organised civil society and other interest groups call for fresh impetus for the European Union

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    Italy’s Luca Jahier has been elected as the 32nd president of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the EU body representing organised civil society, which he will head for the next two and a half years. The two new vice-presidents will be Milena Angelova (Bulgaria) for budget and Isabel Caño Aguilar (Spain) for communication. Read the inaugural speech.

  • In the context of the upcoming European elections in June 2024, the high-level discussion at the NAT section meeting on 26 February will contribute to set the agenda of the new Commission. Building on previous EESC opinions and events on "The sustainable economy we need" and "Beyond GDP measures", the debate will feed into the own-initiative opinion on A Blueprint for a European Green and Social Deal, based on a wellbeing economy.

  • The 10th meeting of the EU Domestic Advisory Group (DAG) under the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and second meeting of the new 2023-25 term, took place on 9 January, 2024.

  • Priorities for the Future Leadership of the European Union to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in a Fragmented and Multipolar World

    The Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the EESC will host a high-level hybrid event on Europe’s future and the SDGs during the meeting of the EESC NAT Section. The event will aim to provide relevant contributions on how the EU can strengthen its SDG leadership in the context of the upcoming European elections in June 2024 and UN Summit of the Future in September 2024. The event will notably feature the launch of the 5th edition of the Europe Sustainable Development Report which tracks annually since 2019 the performance of all EU member states and partner countries on the SDGs and is co-designed with civil society. The discussions will also aim to highlight opportunities and mechanisms for further engagement with civil society organizations and the private sector to advance the SDGs in Europe. 

  • The event will present a grassroots and local government perspective on the European Green Deal, with ECOLISE and ICLEI Europe sharing insights into the handprint of community-led initiatives and local governments in addressing the planetary crisis.