On the 15th of May EUD participated at the breakfast debate organised by Eurodiaconia, a European network of 46 churches and Christian NGOs. The debate took place at the European Parliament and was hosted by the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Jean Lambert. During the debate the research paper ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) vs European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR or the Pillar) – making two frameworks work together’ was presented. The research paper published by Eurodiaconia aims at establishing a link between the European Pillar of Social Rights and the SDGs.
Participants discussed potential opportunities and challenges in merging SDGs with the Pillar, because if used together these two initiatives have a potential to serve as one strong overarching policy framework that would guide the EU’s actions of the next years and address many social issues that Europeans, especially the ones with disabilities, face.
As part of the research paper Eurodiaconia included policy recommendations how to bring SDGs and Social Pillar together. First, the Social Pillar and SDGs should be seen as an overarching framework that would dictate the priorities for upcoming actions taken by the EU. Second, monitoring systems of both initiatives should be merged and the implementation of actions should be monitored by a single set of indicators. Third, the EPSR and SDGs should be taken into account during the European Semester process, to ensure that the social dimension of the EU and in particular social rights are at the core of the European integration process. Moreover, the implementation should also be supported through European Funds within the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).
EUD, emphasise that full implementation of the Pillar and SDGs have a great potential to address social inclusion and inequalities in Europe especially for people with disabilities.