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Opinion Number: CDR 4274/2022
Rapporteur: RIO Ricardo
Commission: ECON
Status: Adopted
Date: 08/02/2023
Contribute to giving a boost to the SDGs ahead of the High-Level Political Forum in July 2023 and the UN SDGs Summit in September 2023 for a timely implementation in 2023;
Champion SDGs localisation and gather fresh data on the EU regions and cities work on SDGs;
Aggregate the work of the various territorial stakeholders and EU regions and cities on SDGs to speak with one stronger voice in favour of SDGs;
Integrate a territorial dimension in the first EU Voluntary Review;


- affirms that the SDGs are potentially the only holistic blueprint for the future, which could balance out the multiplication of frameworks at all levels – Paris Agreement, National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs) under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the Convention of Biological Diversity, the EU Green Deal, the new Urban Agenda, etc.;

- calls for stronger EU engagement and for an overall strategy for implementation of the SDGs;

- is concerned that the monitoring report is not based on measurable, time-bound targets and therefore cannot truly monitor the implementation of the SDGs in the EU;

- is also concerned that the indicators used to assess SDGs are all national level. For medium-sized and large countries, these assessments do not reflect reality on the ground, as there are large disparities within countries.

- urges the future Spanish Presidency to organise a high-level debate on the boost needed at EU level to implement the SDGs on time. This debate should be in the General Affairs Council at ministerial level and send a clear signal to the European Commission on the importance of SDGs;

- highlights the need for better linkages between SDGs and NRRPs, as funding is the main obstacle for 47% of cities and regions in the implementation of the SDGs and there is still EUR 225 billion available for Member States from the RRF;

- calls for better and more structured coordination between levels of government with the EU leading by example, including through more inclusive governance of the European Semester and a structured dialogue with stakeholders on the SDGs;

- hereby launches a collective discussion on the importance of keeping sustainable development in Europe at the centre of all political actions even post-2030, stressing the opportunity to establish a true well-being economy, centred on people and the planet and working towards a sustainable EU in the long term.



Spanish Presidency and CoR to collaborate on parallel SDGs events in October

On 11 October, the Spanish Presidency whose one of the priority will be SDGs localisation, will organise an event on this topic in Spain. In parallel, the CoR together with Eurocities, CEMR and Regions will organise a stocktaking event on SDGs in the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities. The Spanish Presidency and the CoR will work together and collaborate in each other events to raise the visibility of SDGs in this key year.

11 Oct

CoR invited to present the EU Voluntary Review at the UN

At the UN High Level Political Forum, the European Commission will organise a side event on 19 July to present the European Voluntary Review. All institutions will be invited to take part, including the CoR.

19 Jul

Flanders invites CoR to its side event at the UN High Level Political Forum

The region of Flanders will participate at the UN HLPF and organise a side event on 11 July to present its work on SDGs implementation. It invited rapporteur Rio to participate.

11 Jul

CoR and OECD organise a roundtable on SDGs

Following their survey on the state of play of SDGs in regions and cities, the CoR and the OECD will organise a roundtable on SDGs to present their results and discuss the EU Voluntary Review.

20 Apr

CoR presents map of EU regions and cities implementing SDGs


During the 4th OECD Roundtable on regions and cities on SDGs, the CoR presented a map of EU regions and cities implementing SDGs. This map is to give visibility to the sheer work of regions and cities on SDGs in the EU. The European Commission included a link to the map in its European Voluntary Review set to be published by mid-May 2023.

20 Apr

CoR Rapporteur participates to EESC event on SDGs leadership

Rapporteur Ricardo Rio participated in the EESC event on SDGs leadership together with representatives of the Spanish Presidency, MEP Barry Andrews and the European Commission Secretariat General.

04 Apr

European Parliament: MEPs table amendments on SDGs localisation and the territorial dimension of SDGs

The European Parliament will adopt a report on SDGs in June ahead of the UN High Level Political Forum in July 2023.
The deadline for amendments was 30 March for adoption by DEVE and ENVI in May. Among the 470 amendments tabled, a number of amendments refer to the CoR, SDGs localisation, the work of regions and cities and the position of the CoR opinion.

30 Mar

The CoR co-organises an event on localising SDGs and Voluntary Local Reviews

The CoR and the region of North Rhine Westphalia are organising an event on Localising SDGs 2.0 - Voluntary Local Reviews and the EU Voluntary Review. The event will feature cities presenting their Voluntary Local Reviews (including the Mayor of Bonn) and leading regions and cities on SDGs such as North Rhine Westphalia and Helsinki region. There will also be an EU panel discussing the EU Voluntary Review.

16 Mar

The CoR, the OECD and SDSN launch survey to map SDGs localisation in Europe

The CoR together with the OECD and SDSN launched a survey to map out the efforts of regions and cities on SDGs in Europe. The results will be used to convey needs and expectations of regions and cities to higher levels of government. Most of all the results will help map an interactive map to be included in the EU Voluntary Review to be presented at the UN in July 2023.

01 Feb

European Parliament REGI requests SDGs to be better integrated in the European Semester

In its opinion on the European Semester adopted on 25 January, the European Parliament REGI Committee requested a better integration of SDGs and recalled the key role of regions and cities in their implementation. The European Parliament ECON Committee is leading on this file with adoption on 23 January

24 Jan

The CoR contributes to the EU Voluntary Review on SDGs

The CoR provided the European Commission with local and regional good practices for each SDGs for the annexes of the document. The CoR also provided a short paragraph on its work for the main document and will provide beginning of February a map of cities and regions localising SDGs to also be featured in the main documents. This comes in addition to regular exchanges with the European Commission as well as the opinion on SDGs.

16 Dec

CoR hosts kickoff meeting of JRC project REGIONS2030

On 29 November, the CoR hosted the kickoff meeting of the JRC REGIONS2030 project. This project is led by the JRC with DG REGIO and Eurostat with the support of the European Parliament. The CoR also supports the project. 10 regions will work with the JRC to help better monitor SDGs at regional level. Thomas Wobben moderated the event and CoR Vice-President Markku Markkula made the concluding remarks.

29 Nov

SDGs rapporteur invited at the Council Working Party on the 2030 Agenda

SDGs rapporteur Ricardo Riohas been invited by the Czech Presidency to contribute to the EU Voluntary Review during a meeting of the Council Working Party on the 2030 Agenda.

17 Nov

SDGs rapporteur meets Spanish delegate on SDGs at the Council

On 17 November, SDGs rapporteur Ricardo Rio met Pilar Masegosa, Spanish Delegate to the Council Working Party on the 2030 Agenda. One of the priorities of the future Spanish Presidency will be SDGs localisation. The rapporteur gave an overview to Mrs Mansego of the contribution of regions and cities to SDGs implementation. They also discussed a possible high level debate on SDGs in the Council

17 Nov

Ricardo Rio speaks at COP27 event

SDGs rapporteur Ricardo Rio talks sustainability, green transition and local green deals during an event co-organised by the European Commission DG GROW and the CoR at the COP27

17 Nov

SDGs rapporteur meets Flanders representative to the EU

On 27 October, SDGs rapporteur Ricardo Rio met Matthias de Moor, General Representative of Flanders to the EU to discuss Volunary National Reviews, data availability and the role of the Council in boosting the SDGs implementation in the EU. Flanders is an observer in the Council Working Party on the 2030 Agenda.

27 Oct

ECON rapporteur gathers views from ENVE members on SDGs

On 6 October, rapporteur Ricardo Rio was invited to the ENVE Commission external meeting in Milan to discuss SDGs state of play and gather views from ENVE members.

06 Oct

Rapporteur organises stakeholders' consultation on the CoR SDGs Opinion

On 4 October, Ricardo Rio, Mayor of Braga, third largest city of Portugal, and rapporteur of the European Committee of the Regions on SDGs, organised an online stakeholders' consultation meeting.
Among the 88 registered participants, representatives from the European Commission Secretariat General, OECD, EU Joint Research Centre, CEMR, Tallinn, North Rhine Westphalia, Espoo, Helsinki and URBACT took the floor to discuss the coming EU Voluntary Review and SDGs localisation in the EU.

04 Oct

Rapporteur meets DG ECFIN to discuss SDGs in the European Semester and RRF

On 4 October, rapporteur Ricardo Rio met DG ECFIN representatives to follow up on exchange of views on the integration of SDGs within the European Semester and links between SDGs and the RRF implementation.

04 Oct

SDGs rapporteur talks SDGs progress and EU Voluntary Review with the European Commission

Ricardo Rio met deputy head of unit Laia Pinos Matero and Lucian Parvulescu to discuss the implementation of SDGs, SDGs localisation and the possible contribution of the CoR in the EU Voluntary Review.
They welcomed the work of the CoR on SDGs and agreed for the CoR contribution to the EU VR.

28 Sep

DG ECFIN discusses SDGs in the European Semester with the CoR

During an exchange of views on the Opinion on SDGs, Aneil Singh from the European Commission DG ECFIN discusses with members of the integration of SDGs within the European Semester as well as links with the RRF.

22 Sep
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