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Indicators better suited to evaluate the SDGs – the civil society contribution (own-initiative opinion)

EESC opinion: Indicators better suited to evaluate the SDGs – the civil society contribution (own-initiative opinion)

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were established by the United Nations in 2015. The time has come for the implementation of the SDGs by the contracting parties, which includes the EU and its Member States.

In this context, SDG monitoring and follow-up programmes have been established. However, it appears that the SDG monitoring is largely quantitative and not qualitative enough. This is particularly the case for EU institutions. This became clear in November 2017 after the Eurostat's first annual SDG report: Sustainable Development in the European Union: 2017 Monitoring Report of the Sustainable Development Goals in an EU context. SDGs are implemented on the ground by non-state actors. Therefore, the EU and Member States need to set up policy frameworks and communication strategies to spur citizens to actions on those goals. However, despite the diversity of civil society organisations (CSOs) working on the SDGs, organised civil society is insufficiently represented in the process. The annual revision of the Eurostat SDG Report must be an opportunity for broader dialogue with civil society on which indicators should be included and what the target for each of these should be. The own-initiative opinion would thus examine how the organised civil society could be better involved in the implementation of the SDGs, and how could civil society contribute towards a more qualitative follow-up of this process.