On 27 February, the NAT Section will debate the EU Reflection Paper and the way forward with representatives from the EU institutions and civil society stakeholders, with a view of providing input to the preparation of the EESC opinion on this topic.
This public hearing will look at ways to implement the 17 SDGs by addressing social concerns in full synergy with environmental and economic ones, reducing social inequalities and more fairly distributing the burden of transformation towards a sustainable Europe.
Once again, the EESC Civil Society Days will take place at a crucial moment for Europe, shortly before the kick off for the Conference on the Future of Europe scheduled for 9 May 2020. At a time when citizens are demanding broader involvement in shaping European policies, this pan-European conference is intended to be a bottom-up public forum to connect European citizens, civil society organisations and European institutions for a debate about the future shape of the European Union.
On 16 September, the Diversity Europe Group held its Extraordinary meeting in Helsinki (Finland) - at the Auditorium (Annex Building of the Parliament).
The meeting entitled Boosting EU competitiveness – 3 pillars for sustainable growth will mainly focussed on bioeconomy and climate neutral Europe, digitalization and infrastructure in transport sector.
The event aims to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the European Union in the post-2020 era. The discussions will focus on the programme of the new European Commission, which will be taking up office in just a few weeks' time. The speakers will also exchange views on a wide range of topical issues, such as the challenges posed by new technologies, Brexit, sustainable development and the development of Europe’s Green Deal. The event will be addressed by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Chris Fearne and by leading local business representatives and stakeholders in the European institutions.
As in previous years, the EESC was present at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF), from Tuesday, 16 July, to Thursday, 18 July 2019. The HLPF is the United Nations central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.
On 12 February, the Sustainable Development Observatory will hold a debate on the EU Reflection Paper on Sustainable Europe by 2030. It will then look at several national strategies and processes involving civil society actors.
At this event, different stakeholders will discuss the need of a fair and just transition and a European Green Deal that leave no one behind. This transition means that the most vulnerable members of society, as well as regions and territories that are in the need of special consideration, have to be involved in decision-making. These aspects will be addressed by the panellists in an interactive discussion.
I welcome the much-awaited reflection paper of the European Commission "Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030". I wish to congratulate First Vice-President Timmermans and Vice-President Katainen for this result. Now there is another window of opportunity to further push the sustainable development agenda, which must become the EU's top priority for the next decade. Let us be clear though: this is only the beginning of the road towards an ambitious and successful implementation of the sustainable agenda.
In view of the informal Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the EU on the future of Europe in Sibiu (Romania), on 9 may 2019, the EESC, as the institutional representative of organised civil society, sets out its own vision of the future with Europe becoming the world leader on sustainable development. To this end, The Committee calls for a new strategy based on a global, cross-sectoral approach focusing on the needs of the citizens with the primary goal of sustainability.