The commission’s high level multi stake-holder platform met for the first time on Wednesday (10 January) on the follow up to the United Nations sustainable development goals in the EU.
The launch of the new platform reflects a new approach to bring together stakeholders to support the commission’s work.
Representatives from academia, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society, businesses, the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Committee of the Regions came together to support and advise the Commission in delivering the SDGs at the EU level.
International organisations such as the World Bank, the United Nations and the European Sustainable Development Network (ESDN) participated as observers.
Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for Better Regulation, Interinstitutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, who chairs the platform, said: “Sustainability is a European brand, and sustainable development is at the heart of the European Commission’s agenda. We need to work from the grassroots up and use the knowledge and skills of a wide range of stakeholders to reshape our economies and societies. The multi-stakeholder platform is an opportunity for experts to come together and learn from each other. I am looking forward to working closely together to develop the vision and the tools we need to succeed in delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals.”
At the first meeting, the platform members agreed to work towards a joint contribution to the commission’s reflection paper ‘Towards a sustainable Europe by 2030’.
Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “The circular economy and sustainable finance are examples of an innovative and European way to ensure that our investments not only create economic growth but that they do so while bringing new benefits to our planet and our citizens. The experience that the platform members bring will help us deliver real results for a sustainable growth strategy post-2020.”
The 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015. The plans represented a plan of action that the European Union and its partners would share.
Bringing together a diverse group of experts with different areas of knowledge, the platform matches the commission’s own expertise, providing a forum for the exchange of best practice at local, regional, national and EU level.