How to make SDGs Europe's business
President Dassis calls for more commitment in Europe
"The most remarkable aspect of this new global agenda is that in a world where tensions, national egotism and conflict are on the rise, world leaders have reached agreement on a common vision and a roadmap that addresses the major global challenges of our times: ending poverty and ensure the well-being and respect for human rights, peace and the protection of our planet", said President Georges Dassis at the "How to make SDGs Europe's business" conference - a high-level discussion on the implementation of the UN2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development organised by the EESC in collaboration with the Dutch Foreign Ministry, the Sustainable Development Goals Charter and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network from 30th to 31st May in the EESC premises in Brussels.
Participants agreed that these goals should be perceived as a golden opportunity for Europe's economy and for the development of a new positive vision and roadmap towards a socially inclusive and sustainable European future and thus to positively impact the lives of millions of people. They called for European leadership and stressed the need for a long-term overarching strategy in order to implement the goals coherently in the EU's internal and external policy.
Nonetheless, the EESC-President Dassis also expressed his concerns about Europe which "though once the main driver of the 2030 Agenda now somewhat is hesitating when it comes to the implementation of this programme." "The SDGs have to be implemented now and they must be translated into new business models in order to achieve a win-win situation - for both the people's living/working conditions and businesses. This remarkable agreement should not be jeopardized", the President called for more commitment and offered the full support of the EESC.
With its 350 members from all the representative organisations of social partners and other civil society groups in the 28 EU Member States, the EESC is a guarantor that civil society plays an important role in the implementation of the SDG's. These goals can only become effective through a strong coalition of governments together with citizens, civil society organisations, local communities, the private sector, trade unions and other important players. Eventually citizens and civil society will be the main drivers of the programme. During its last plenary session end on 26 May the EESC decided to propose the creation of a European Sustainable Development Forum and help facilitating the dialogue between the different stakeholders.
The EESC President expects the Commission to be in the lead to assure a high degree of commitment for the 2030 Agenda by all Member States.