On the 10th July, members of the Development (DEVE) and the Environment (ENVI) committees of the European Parliament (EP) discussed the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the EU. MEPs were in particular interested in preparations of a European Commission reflection paper and the recommendations currently prepared by the Multi-stakeholder Platform on SDGs.
Multi-stakeholder Platform on SDGs is a collection of different stakeholders from civil society, non-governmental organizations, the private and corporate sector who meet in regular meetings to support and advise the European Commission on the implementation of SDGs at EU level.
Multi-stakeholder Platform on SDGs presented their preliminary recommendations on how the SDGs should be implemented in the EU. It was highlighted that SDGs need to become an overarching framework for the new European Strategy since many issues that the EU face are reflected in the SDGs. It was emphasised that the key principle which should lead the process of implementation of the SDGs is – leave no one behind. This means that people with disabilities cannot be overlooked throughout the process. Contextualising this principle throughout different EU policies is particularly important, since it aims to address different challenges such as social exclusion, unfairness and inequalities. It was recommended that the implementation should contain a clear timeline, with short and long-term objective which go beyond five-year political cycles. Moreover, it is extremely important to establish strong monitoring mechanisms and measure the progress of implementation. All three institutions, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU need to take a strong leadership while implementing the SDGs.
The European Commission’s Secretary General’s Policy Coordinator on the SDGs responded stating that SDGs are at the heart of the European Union. The European Commission is committed to ensure that SDGs are mainstreamed through all EU policy framework and priorities. It was highlighted that the new multiannual financial framework which was published by the European Commission in May already puts a lot of emphasis on implementation of the SDGs. Moreover, it was highlighted that the European Commission is preparing a reflection paper on implementation of the SDGs, which will serve as a political vision for the broader discussion for future of the EU. The reflection paper will be published by the end of the year.
Throughout the discussion it was highlighted that the implementation of the SDGs highly depends on the level of involvement of civil society and other stakeholders. EUD together with the European Disability Forum is highly involved in implementing SDGs on the European level and is raising awareness about the importance of the implementation of the SDGs on the national and European levels, so people with disabilities are not left behind.