The severe economic crisis as well as the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals require the EU to move forward with its strategic thinking beyond Europe 2020. The EESC intends to launch the debate with an EESC opinion on a long-term strategy for a sustainable Europe. The hearing on 1 March with experts and stakeholders should provide input for the further elaboration of the EESC opinion.
An Fhaireachlann um Fhorbairt Inbhuanaithe (FFI) - Related Events
The 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), took place in Marrakech from 7 to 18 November 2016. On 8 December 2016, the EESC's Sustainable Development Observatory will organise a COP22 debriefing to discuss if the so called "COP of action" fulfilled its promises.
In 2016 the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), the French Committee for Sustainable Development (Committee 21 France - C21F) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) decided to work together to create a new international coalition on climate dedicated to multilevel and multi-stakeholder governance.
The COP22 side event co-organised by the EESC and the Climate Chance Association will serve to support the pledge made by the non-state actors to take their share of responsibility and continue building coalitions gathering all stakeholders involved in key areas in the spirit of a multi-stakeholder and multi-level governance based on transparency, inclusiveness and shared thinking.
Since 1992, the LIFE programme (L'Instrument Financier pour l'Environnement) has been the main European funding source for the protection of nature, resource efficiency and awareness-raising actions around the environment. In 2017, the European Commission will issue a mid-term evaluation of the LIFE programme over the 2014-2020 period. One of the objectives is in particular to start discussing the first perspectives for LIFE after 2020. This evaluation will particularly look at the impact, effectiveness and relevance of the programme's investment, taking into account the new features introduced in 2014. The EESC, along with the European Committee of the Regions, are closely involved in this process: the EESC will contribute with an exploratory opinion.
This one-day conference will be a first step towards concretising the coalition of politics, administration and civil society called for by the EESC NAT/684 Opinion. It will also deliver a strong message on multi-stakeholder collaboration as enabler of accelerated implementation and the generalisation of concrete actions (scaling, replicating, extending) as well as a pathway for the practical implementation of many key components of the Paris Agreement to be debated during COP22, such as financing, capacity building and adaptation, among others.
This forum will be an opportunity to carry out a reflection on the modalities of multi-stakeholder governance and further facilitate dialogue and multi-stakeholder partnerships as means of accelerated, more efficient and inclusive implementation of the Paris Agreement. Moreover, it will aim to define obstacles and problems encountered by multi-stakeholder partnerships and propose conditions for success that could be applied across other coalitions of actors. It will also start a reflection on the elements of a comprehensive framework that aligns non-state and governmental actions over the long term, helping to meet the objectives of low-carbon and climate-resilient development.
On 20 July 2016, the European Commission released two proposals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the non-ETS sectors (transport, buildings, agriculture and waste), the so-called “Effort Sharing Regulation” for the 2030 climate and energy framework, as well as a separate Regulation for the land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector. These proposals aim to contribute to the goal of the overall reduction of EU's emissions in 2030 by at least 40%. The EESC is currently drafting its Opinion on the two proposals, foreseen to be adopted in December 2016. The public hearing will provide a platform for various stakeholders to express their views on the Commission proposals and exchange views with the EESC Members from the Study Group preparing the Opinion.
The Commission announced it would take action in 2016 to define next steps for a sustainable European future and unveil a new approach, ensuring Europe's economic prosperity and social and environmental sustainability beyond the 2020 timeframe in order to implement the SDGs. This conference fed into this process.
Opened by the Commission’s First Vice-President Timmermans, it provided civil society and stakeholders with a forum to express their ideas on how EU internal and external polices can best contribute to an effective implementation of SDGs. Working groups on sustainable consumption and production, social justice and decent work, sustainable business and investment and on global partnership and peace generated interactive discussions. The event reflected the outcome of recent major conferences in Europe and feature a debate with Karl Falkenberg, special adviser of the Commission President on ways to strengthen sustainable development in the EU.
The idea of "nudging" starts from the assumption that behavioural sciences can help decision makers get public policies right. Nudging implies indirectly influence people's choice with very limited, easily implemented, sometimes very unexpected, signals to deliver massive effects, without forbidding anything. It assumes that individuals are not perfectly rational and involves small and cheap incentives for them to change their behaviour in a specific field; it can be applied in a wide range of contexts, including public policies. The European Commission created a "Foresight and Behavioural insights Unit" within the Joint Research Centre. The purpose of this own-initiative opinion is to explore how the nudge theory could help European policies be more effective, in particular under a sustainable development angle.