Leida Rijnhout, Director for Global Policies and Sustainability at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), said:
“It is time that President Juncker decides on where to go with Europe. He can either choose the sustainable way with a concrete plan to implement the global 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, or he can stick to the old fashioned growth and jobs mantra. However, the latter will fail to achieve even its stated aims and will only exacerbate the environmental and social problems facing Europe and the rest of the world.”
Agreed in New York in September 2015, the adoption of the 2030 Agenda was a major global achievement and the EU can rightly be proud of the part it played. SDG Watch Europe also welcomed a commitment to implement the Agenda in the 2016 Commission Work Programme, entitled ‘No Time for Business as Usual’.
However, despite these fine words, there has been extremely little progress at EU level and the danger is growing that ‘business as usual’ will prevail. If Europe is to play its part in addressing global challenges, it needs to develop an implementation strategy to guide the work of all the European Commission Directorates-General and the other EU institutions.
Tanya Cox, Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager, Plan International, added:
“We’re concerned that the Commission is moving ahead too slowly on internal policy and action on sustainable development and that the small amount of progress is taking place behind closed doors with no public consultation. It is crucial that the Commission closely involves civil society - and other stakeholders - in the development of an overarching strategy if Europe is to achieve the best results for people and the planet.”
The challenges facing the world, including climate change, inequality between countries and between people in the same country, conflict and migration, are massive and complex and can only be tackled through comprehensive, cross-border solutions. The EU now has the opportunity to show that it is ready, willing and capable of action that is commensurate with this task.
Source: European Women's Lobby
Photo Credits: Getty Images/Ryan Pierse