On 14 November, CoR members Markku Markkula (FI/EPP) and Christophe Rouillon (FR/PES) took part in a Council working party meeting on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Later this month, the Council of the EU is expected to adopt conclusions specifically on SDGs at local level. The Spanish presidency of the Council is aiming to have the conclusions approved on 27 or 30 November.
Strengthening the local dimension of the SDGs is something that the CoR has been calling for, most recently in a resolution adopted at the plenary session on 10 October.
"I am very pleased that the Council is adopting conclusions focusing on the localization of Sustainable Development Goals. This is a true recognition of all our work. These conclusions need to support the further deployment of peer-to-peer partnerships where frontrunners cities take the lead to set up these partnerships and boost action on SDGs. The EU should also better align EU funding instruments and all the SDGs in order to support regions and cities active on sustainability as a whole", said Mr Markkula, Member of Espoo City Council and President of the Helsinki Region.
In his intervention, Mr Rouillon emphasising the international dimension of the role of local and regional authorities in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Between 29 November and 1 December, the CoR and the European Commission are organising the Forum on Cities and Regions for International Partnerships 2023, gathering together representatives of cities and regions from all continents to discuss sustainable development.
"The motto of the SDGs is 'leaving no one behind'. Local authorities are the best level of government to facilitate inclusive development, taking into account the specific needs of a wide range of communities and in particular vulnerable groups, and mobilising relevant services to provide them with integrated support. Real local ownership can boost the implementation of SDGs on the ground in our partner countries", the Mayor of Coulaines and President of the PES Group said.