EC Releases Three Communications on 2030 Agenda Implementation
Photo by IISD/ENB | Pamela Chasek
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The European Commission (EC) released a series of three communications that outline the Commission’s approach to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Europe.

A Joint Communication with the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy proposes building blocks for a new phase in EU relations with African, the Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

22 November 2016: The European Commission (EC) released a series of three communications that outline its approach to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Europe, including through a renewed partnership with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

The Communication on ‘Next steps for a sustainable European Future: European action for sustainability’ was issued to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, explains how the EC’s ten political priorities contribute to implementing the 2030 Agenda, through two work streams: mainstreaming the SDGs in European policy frameworks and current Commission priorities, assessing current progress and identifying relevant sustainability concerns; and reflecting on further developing the EU’s longer-term vision and sectoral policies after 2020. In the Communication, the EC states its intention to use all possible instruments to work towards a sustainable future, and notes its plan to launch a multi-stakeholder platform with a role in follow-up and review of SDG implementation across sectors. The communication also states that a Multiannual Financial Framework beyond 2020 will reorient the EU budget’s contributions towards achieving the EU’s long-term objectives.

A Staff Working Document that accompanies the Communication maps how European policies and actions contribute to the SDGs, and summarizes relevant actions. This document illustrates that the EU’s policies currently address all 17 SDGs, with the Europe 2020 strategy playing a critical role in addressing several SDGs, and highlights some of the EU’s main actions.

The Communication titled ‘Proposal for a new European Consensus on Development: Our World, our Dignity, our Futur,’ proposes a vision and framework for development cooperation for the EU and its member States that aligns with the 2030 Agenda, with an emphasis on cross-cutting drivers of development, including gender equality, sustainable energy and climate action, investment, migration, mobility and youth. The communication aims to: update the EU’s development response to current global challenges; promote SDG implementation in partnership with developing countries; and increase the credibility, effectiveness and impact of the EU’s development policies through common strategies, joint programming and action, improved reporting and shared analysis.

Finally, a Joint Communication from the EC and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, issued to the European Parliament and the Council, addressed ‘A renewed partnership with the countries of ACP.’ The document proposes building blocks for a new phase in EU-ACP relations after the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) expires in 2020. The Communication aims for agreement on an umbrella agreement among the EU and ACP partner countries that would address regional challenges and opportunities. The communication recommends the EU’s response strategy focus on six specific priorities related to: promoting peaceful and democratic societies, good governance, the rule of law and human rights for all; spurring inclusive sustainable growth and decent jobs for all; turning mobility and migration into opportunities; promoting human development and dignity; protecting the environment and fighting climate change; and joining forces on areas of common interests.

EC High Representative and Vice President Federica Mogherini said the communications “have the common aim of strengthening the impact of our cooperation with our partners across the world, whilst promoting sustainability at home and abroad…The EU will keep leading an external action that supports peace, democracy and good governance, that reinforces resilience at all levels and promotes shared and sustainable prosperity for all.” European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said the proposals “confirm the EU’s readiness to engage with our partners across the world to build a better common future.”

Also on the EU’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the Commission published a Joint Staff Working Document on implementing the EU external policy on indigenous peoples. The document recommends using the EU’s rights-based approach to development (RBA) to integrate indigenous peoples’ rights and issues in the EU’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda. [EC Press Release] [Next steps for a sustainable European Future] [Commission Staff Working Document: Key European action supporting the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs] [Proposal for a new European Consensus on Development] [A renewed partnership with the countries of ACP] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on EU Policy on Indigenous Peoples]

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