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EU sets out its priorities for sustainable development in Europe and around the world

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On 22 November 2016, the European Commission set out a strategic approach for achieving sustainable development in Europe and around the world.


A first Communication on the next steps for a sustainable European future explains how the Commission's 10 political priorities contribute to implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and how the EU will meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the future. A second Communication on a new European Consensus on Development proposes a shared vision and framework for development cooperation for the EU and its Member States, aligned with the 2030 Agenda. A third Communication on a renewed partnership with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries proposes building blocks for a new, sustainable phase in EU-ACP relations after the Cotonou Partnership Agreement expires in 2020.


Sustainability is a European brand. The EU has a strong starting position and track record, with a high level of economic development, social cohesion, democratic societies and a commitment to sustainable development which is firmly anchored in the European Treaties. Yet, to preserve the future, the right policy choices have to be made today.


The main elements of the Commission's new, strategic approach on the next steps for a sustainable European future are the follosing:


  • The EU's answer to the 2030 Agenda will include two work streams: the first is to mainstream the Sustainable Development Goals in the European policy framework and current Commission priorities; the second is to launch reflection on further developing our longer term vision and the focus of sectoral policies after 2020.
  • The Commission will use all the instruments at its disposal, including its better regulation tools to ensure that existing and new policies take into account the three pillars of sustainable development: social, environmental and economic.
  • To create a dynamic space bringing together the different stakeholders of the public and the private sphere, the Commission will launch a multi-stakeholder Platform with a role in the follow-up and exchange of best practices on SDG implementation across sectors.
  • The Commission will provide regular reporting of the EU's progress towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda as of 2017, and will launch reflection work on developing further a longer term vision with a post-2020 perspective.


To read the full press release and the relevant fact sheet, please visit the European Commission webpage at the links below.


See also the relevant BUILD UP Publications:


Commission communication: Next steps for a sustainable European future - European action for sustainability



Commission Staff Working Document: Key European action supporting the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals - SWD(2016) 390 final



EUROSTAT: Sustainable development in the European Union - 2016 edition