Resolution of the UEF Federal Committee "Towards a strong policy on sustainable Europe"

Adopted by the UEF Federal Committee, 28 April 2019, Barcelona

On 25 September 2015 at the UN Sustainable Development Summit, the United Nations adopted a Resolution entitled “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developments”. As a non-legally binding text, it is a global plan for action for people, planet and prosperity- a plan “grounded” on international human rights commitments,  under the pledge to “leave no one behind”, which is the core element of the whole process. 

In more concrete terms, the 2030 Agenda has the potential to be transformative and set out universal, ambitious, comprehensive, indivisible and 17 interlined goals (including 169 target actions), aimed at eradicating poverty, fighting growing inequalities and discrimination, promoting democracy, prosperity, sustainability, environmental responsibility, social inclusion, solidarity, gender equality, good  governance and respect of the rule of law ensuring social, territorial cohesion and straightening peace and security.   These are interrelated challenges demanding a holistic implementation approach, involving public and private funding and the strong participation of social partners and civil society.

Unlike the Millennium Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda set universal, crosscutting and interconnected goals for the EU and its Member States, which can have European, national, regional, local and international implications. In particular, the 2030 Agenda is closely linked to European values and interests and reflects the current provisions of the Treaties, as well as the obligations of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. It represents a significant innovation with the potential to further develop a new global sustainable order, based on multilateralism and international cooperation. In particular, in the EU internally, the 2030 Agenda  surpasses the current limitations of the Treaties between EU internal and external competence in certain policy areas and could be seen as a right framework for developing an ambitious EU vision for healthier, more inclusive and sustainable societies in a resilient world.

In this context, the Commission presented in 2016 a Communication announcing the methodology to be followed for “the next steps for a sustainable Europe Future” [COM(2016)739] and established a multi-stakeholder platform promoting structured dialogue and contribution by civil society.

In January 2019, the Commission published a long reflection paper entitled “towards a sustainable Europe by 2030” which will be the subject of Council conclusions and deeper reflection at the Sibiu Summit on 9 May 2019.   

In March 2019, the EP adopted a Resolution on the same topic, inviting the Commission to develop a strong implementation Strategy.

In this context, keeping in mind previous UEF discussions (within PC4 –in Madrid in 2016)  and in view of the May 2019 European Elections,

the UEF:

Stresses the need for  strong EU leadership at the UN Level starting at the July 2019 High-level Political Forum meeting as well as at the  September 2019 Head of State and Government Summit.

Expresses clearly its support for an overreaching EU strategic policy on the 2030 Agenda, aimed at guiding the actions of the EU and its Member States (scenario 1 of the Commission Reflection paper).

Considers that EU candidate countries should be included in the whole process.

Invites the Commission to develop an integrated and holistic implementation Strategy in close cooperation with the UN, EUMS, all EU institutions and bodies, reflecting an  in-depth gap analysis of existing policies, establishing precise accountability and monitoring mechanisms, supporting actions to achieve a level playing field and establishing detailed roadmaps. This strategy is more than necessary as big differences persist among EUMs towards achieving the 2030 Agenda goals.

Invites the new European Parliament to work closely with the Council and the Commission towards an Inter-institutional Agreement for a Sustainable Europe by 2030 and setting up an Annual European Forum on the 2030 Agenda.

 During the 2019 European Parliament elections campaign

Invite candidates and political parties to take positions on the 2030 Agenda.

Call all UEF sections to organise internal debates on the implementation of the 2030 agenda and share experience and best practices at the national, regional and local levels.

Suggest UEF PC2 to work on a federalist analysis of 2030 Agenda, involving outputs of external experts if necessary, to be presented at the next FC meeting.

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