Agenda 2030 and the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility: what role for organised civil society?

UN High Level Political Forum | EESC side event

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Scope and objectives

On 13 July 2021, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) will hold a public side-event in the context of the United Nations' High Level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF), an annual space to review commitment and progress made on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which takes place from 6th to 15th July 2021 in New York. This year's theme is Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

This EESC side event will gather representatives of national Governments and civil society organisations.  

During this online event, we will:

  • present the main findings of the EESC study Shifting priorities towards post-COVID sustainable reconstruction and recovery;
  • examine whether the post-pandemic national recovery and resilience plans (NRRPs) go beyond a short-term approach and adopt the principles of a wellbeing economy and SDG implementation;
  • assess whether considerations of social and environmental sustainability are sufficiently integrated in the NRRPs;
  • analyse the involvement of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the role of multi-stakeholder participation and partnerships;
  • reflect on the implementation of the European recovery and resilience facility (RRF) and its alignment with the SDGs.
Context

The Covid-19 crisis has been a true tsunami for our societies and economies. The pandemic has abruptly and unexpectedly altered our lives and communities and increased existing challenges. Relaunching the economy cannot mean to go back to the same track.

The UN Agenda 2030 shows the way towards a post-COVID sustainable reconstruction and recovery. A blueprint to orientate our societies and economies towards a sustainable and inclusive development that leaves no one behind.

The European Green Deal is the centrepiece of the EU economic strategy and post-COVID recovery. The EU Recovery and Resilience Facility, the largest component of Next Generation EU, is the EU's landmark instrument to mitigate the economic and social impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and make European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions. The European Green Deal must be a Green and Social Deal to attain all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The pandemic has revealed more than ever the importance of strong global partnerships, cooperation and organised civil society involvement. Goal 17 – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development – is the tool to advance towards a post-COVID sustainable reconstruction and recovery.

Multi-stakeholder participation, organised civil society involvement and partnerships are essential to scale up efforts to attain the SDGs within the decade of action, and to succeed in the implementation of the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility. Article 18. 4 (q) of the Regulation on the Recovery and Resilience Facility[1] states that the national recovery and resilience plans (NRRPs) should contain a summary of the consultation process with local and regional authorities, social partners, civil society organizations (CSOs) and other relevant stakeholders, and should explain how stakeholder input is reflected in the plans.

The HLPF is the central UN platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2021 theme is a Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development.

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[1] Council of the European Union, 2020, Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Recovery and Resilience Facility, OJ L 57, 18.2.2021.