Leaving no one behind when implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (own-initiative opinion) - Related Opinions
This opinion will look into the possibilities to engage with young people in a formal way at institutional level and provide the building blocks for a new structured approach to youth engagement at EU level.
The incoming German EU Presidency has listed this file as one of their top priorities in the field. This is in line with their long-standing interest to the issue of due diligence and corporate social responsibility, which they had tabled during their Presidency of the G7 in 2015 and G20 in 2017. The German government wants an EU legislation on the issue and they would welcome the EESC opinion. They are encouraged by the launch of a Commission study on Sustainable supply chains back in January 2020. They would ideally like to present the EESC opinion during their high-level conference scheduled on 6-7 October 2020.
The opinion will provide guidance on how to build on existing structures like citizens' dialogues and assemblies, social dialogue committees in order to structure and mainstream the dialogue with civil society. It will also make recommendations about how to encourage information sharing and public understanding of climate action; how to create real and virtual spaces for exchange on climate and how to build capacity to facilitate grassroots initiatives, among others.
This EESC opinion will respond to the European Commission's proposal for a regulation on establishing a European Climate Law and it will look into the role of citizens in driving the transformation towards climate neutrality.
The purpose of this opinion is twofold:
1. To make an inventory of all the concrete proposals made by EESC members during the current term of office concerning any form of coordination between the rule books of the UNCCC for climate change, the WTO for trade in goods, services and investments and subsidies, and the ILO for the main conventions, and in particular, decent work agenda;
2. To organise hearings in Brussels and Geneva of key people and consultations through an on‑line platform in order to articulate a set of practical proposals designed to bring about greater integration of economic, environmental and social rules.
The EESC welcomes the approach taken by the annual growth strategy for 2020, based on the four key pillars that are the environment, productivity, stability and fairness and also welcomes the inclusion of the United Nations' 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. It also welcomes the fact that social rights are highlighted in the 2020 growth strategy and hopes that special attention will be given to the gender issue. Long term investment in education, training and skills development and to boost research and innovation, with increased funds earmarked for them, is absolutely crucial and decisive for the EU competitiveness. The greatest priority of all is to restore sustainable growth, above all in the weakest countries and regions. Finally, the EESC agrees on the need to strengthen the stability and resilience of the financial system and tighten the rules governing the financial markets.
Just a few days ahead of last December's climate summit COP24 in Poland, the European Commission published its long-term strategy "A clean planet for all" presenting its vision for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 through a socially-fair transition in a cost-efficient manner. While the document does not contain any new policy proposals, it provides the direction of travel of EU climate and energy policy and frames what the EU considers as its long-term contribution to achieving the Paris Agreement temperature objectives in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals.