Opinion Factsheet  

Consecução dos Objetivos de Desenvolvimento Sustentável até 2030

Opinion Number: CDR 103/2021
Rapporteur: RIO Ricardo
Commission: ECON
Status: Adopted
Date: 01/07/2021
The recent Staff Working Document "Delivering on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals – a comprehensive approach" and the Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy (ASGS) 2021 show that the EU is still committed to implement SDGs but momentum is needed to go from strategy to delivery and recognition of the LRAs' role in implementation.
In this opinion, the CoR objective is to take stock of the Staff Working Document and the latest development of the European Semester, and deliver recommendations for the next ASGS 2022. The European Semester has established itself as the key tool for the coordination of national economic and employment policies and as such, should better drive, coordinate and monitor the rollout of SDG related policies, taking into account the Recovery and Resilience Facility and the Green Deal.
The Council Conclusions on SDGs issued in June 2021 took onboard numerous points provided by the rapporteur and integrated in the opinion: including the necessary ambition to put back SDGs at the heart of EU policy-making, the need for a structured dialogue on SDGs engaging stakeholders in policy-making, as well as the reaffirmation of the European Semester as a key tool to implement SDGs and link them better with EU recovery effort.

The European Commission also engaged with the CoR on SDGs role in the recovery and the key role of local and regional authorities in the implementation of SDGs. This notably took the form of the participation of the rapporteur in the Brussels Economic Forum in June 2021.

- believes that this opinion must be seen as encouragement for the European Commission to reinforce the SDGs as an integral part of European core values and identity, and thus give it an appropriately high profile in its overarching narrative and priorities;

- welcomes that the present European Commission has taken a strong political commitment to implementing the SDGs. However, this should be accompanied by specific internal governance arrangements within the European Commission, such as regular coordination meetings of the President's cabinet with other Commissioners' cabinets on SDG mainstreaming;

- asks the European Commission to renew the SDG platform or create another dialogue platform with clout and structured follow-up to foster expertise from all the different stakeholders from public and private institutions regarding the 2030 Agenda and to advise the EC directly;

- believes that keeping the focus of the European Semester as the framework for EU countries to coordinate their economic policies is possible with the integration of the SDGs and that SDGs should be reintegrated into the European Semester at the earliest opportunity;

- welcomes the preliminary results of the CoR-OECD survey on SDGs and recovery, showing that despite the pandemic, local and regional authorities are still mobilised for the implementation of the SDGs with 60% of local and regional respondents indicating their conviction that the SDGs can help take a more holistic approach to recovery, and 43% having a specific governance structure to implement them;

- reaffirms the commitment of the CoR to step up its partnerships with the OECD, EUROCITIES, AER, CEMR – PLATFORMA and Regions4 to accelerate the localisation of SDGs and advocate the SDGs as an overarching EU core value; commits to concluding other partnerships to further support SDGs' localisation in Europe and beyond.



CoR teams up with Eurocities, Regions4, CEMR and OECD on SDGs for the European Week of Regions and Cities

The CoR together with SDGs territorial stakeholders will organise a stocktaking event on the role of SDGs in the recovery on 19 October 2021 during the European Week of Regions and Cities. This event takes place in the framework of a long-term partnership on SDGs.

19 Oct

Council Chair of the 2030 Agenda Working Party thanks CoR rapporteur for input in Council Conclusions

On 30 June, Elisabete Palma wrote to rapporteur Ricardo Rio, thanking rapporteur for its input for the Council Conclusions published on 22 June, and highlighted points taken up. Importantly, Mrs Palma confirmed that even if the Portuguese Presidency of the EU is ending, it will remain a strong supporteur of CoR, and regions and cities in the Working Party.

30 Jun

Rapporteur discusses SDGs at the Brussels Economic Forum

Rapporteur Ricardo Rio was invited to discuss the key contribution of the SDGs to a sustainable recovery in a Q&As session together with Eurostat Director. The events also featured Angela Merkel, Ursula von der Leyen and Christine Lagarde.

29 Jun

CoR and the OECD strenghten their cooperation in a roundtable on recovery and SDGs

The CoR and the OECD co-organised a roundtable on recovery and SDGs. CoR director for legislative works, Thomas Wobben, and OECD Deputy Secretary General, Ulrik Knudsen, opened the event, praising and renewing their close cooperation to champion the SDGs as the right framework for recovery in the EU.
Rapporteur Ricardo Rio also participated in the event, presenting the first results of a CoR-OECD joint survey on recovery and SDGs.

29 Jun

Council publishes SDGs Council Conclusions and takes onboard CoR views

The Council issued its Council Conclusions on SDGs exhorting the European Commission to accelerate the implementation of SDGs, linking them directly to the recovery efforts, in line with CoR recommendations. The Conclusions also took onboard CoR positions on the importance of governance, regions and cities contributions, as well as the need for a structured dialogue with stakeholders on SDGs.

22 Jun

Chair of the Council Working Party on SDGs discusses SDGs with ECON members

On 20 April, the Chair of the Council Working Party on the 2030 Agenda, Elisabetta Palma, participated in the CoR ECON meeting and highlighted the convergence of positions between the Council and the CoR on SDGs. She supported the CoR draft opinion that was later adopted by ECON members that day, and confirmed that CoR positions will be taken on board in the future Council Conclusions.

20 Apr

Council and EP participates in CoR ECON meeting for the adoption of SDGs opinion

Chair of the Council Working Party on the 2030 Agenda, Elisabete Palma, EP ECON MEP, Frances Fitzgerald, and EC Dombrovskis member of cabinet, Mirzha de Manuel, supported the work of the CoR on SDGs and highlighted their engagement to support the SDGs in the recovery process as well as their readiness to work with CoR rapporteur on SDGs localisation.

20 Apr

CoR rapporteur talks SDGs with the Council delegates on SDGs

Ricardo Rio presented the views of regions and cities on SDGs to the national delegates of the Council Working Party on the 2030 Agenda in a bid to contribute to the Council Conclusions on SDGs to be published end of June at the end of the Portuguese Presidency. He insisted on the importance of using the SDGs as a framwork for recovery, especially in the European Semester to link SDGs better with the RRF. He also insisted on the importance of localising SDGs and reinstating a structured dialogue on SDGs with stakeholders: the EU multi-stakeholders platform on SDGs.

14 Apr

Rapporteur Rio meets UN senior officials to discuss SDGs at global level

Rapporteur Ricardo Rio met with Jose Dallo and Pablo Gago Lorenzo, from the Executive Office of the Secretary General of United Nations, working on te 2030 Agenda. They talked about the Decade for Action on SDGs and the localisation of SDGs. The UN will launch a range of action to accelerate implementation of SDGs at all levels, this will include actions to give more visibility to local action and give impetus for further ambition. The UN and the CoR will work together in this endeavour, notably during the next HLPF and by collecting local and regional best practices.

09 Mar

Rapporteur Rio discusses SDGs and cohesion with Commissioner Ferreira and her cabinet

This week, rapporteur Ricardo Rio discussed with Commissioner Elisa Ferreira and Carole Mancel-Blanchard the links between EU regional policy and SDGs to make sure to highlight the key role of the EU in supporting regions and cities to implement SDGs.

08 Mar

CoR rapporteur participate in Eurocities SDGs taskforce meeting to gather input for opinion

05 Mar

Rapporteur Rio discusses the importance of putting back SDGs in the EU narrative with the European Commission Secretariat General

Rapporteur Ricardo Rio met Lucian Parvulescu and Laia Matero Pintos from the European Commission Secretariat General. As coordinators and drafters of the Staff Working Document on SDGs, they were key stakeholders to discuss about the visibility problem of SDGs in the EU narrative as well as key issues such as the lack of structured dialogue with stakeholders on SDGs, the internal governance of SDGs within the EC to mainstream them in all policies, and the need to better link SDGs with the EU recovery.

04 Mar

CoR rapporteur exchange with the European Commission Secretariat General on SDGs

On 4 March, Ricardo Rio met with Lucian Parvulescu and Laia Pinos Mateiro, in charge of the former EU multi-stakeholders platform on SDGs and now coordinating SDGs work with all European Commission services.
They discussed the still key relevance of SDGs in policy-making and the need to make it more prominent, as well as the need for a more structured dialogue with stakeholders. The Secretariat-General put forward the Climate Pact as such a structured dialogue. However the rapporteur pointed out this was not on SDGs and needed to integrate more stakeholders in decision-making.

04 Mar

CoR rapporteur meets DG REGIO to talk EU support for regions and cities on SDGs

04 Mar

CoR rapporteur meets with EU Council Chair of Working Party on 2030 Agenda

Ricardo Rio met with Elisabete Palma, Chair of the EU Council Working Party on the 2030 Agenda during the Portuguese Presidency. They agreed on the absolute need to put back the SDGs at the centre of the EU narrative, and reinstate a structured dialogue between the European Commission and SDGs stakeholders after the end of the EU multi-stakeholders platform on SDGs. On this basis, Ricardo Rio shared key messages that should be in the coming Council Conclusions on SDGs to be published by June 2021.

03 Mar

CoR rapporteur meets representatives from EU Urbact project

03 Mar

Rapporteur Rio meets UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

Rapporteur Ricardo Rio met with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to talk about the importance of the SDGs as a universal agenda for development and recovery. They also talked about the key role of regions and cities to implement SDGs.

02 Mar

CoR rapporteur meets with cabinet of Commissioner Gentiloni responsible for Economy

Ricardo Rio met with Estelle Göger and Marco Piantini to discuss the importance of SDGs in the recovery and agreed it should be more prominent in the next cycle of a reformed European Semester to better link recovery and SDGs.

26 Feb

CoR organises SDGs stakeholders consultation

Newly appointed rapporteur, Ricardo Rio, Mayor of the 3rd largest city of Portugal, is organising a stakeholders' consultation ahead of drafting the next CoR opinion on delivering the SDGs on time.
In addition to his intervention, interventions from regions and cities such as the Basque Country and Espoo Islands are foreseen. Territorial organisations such as Eurocities and CEMR, as well as the OECD will speak. Former partners at the EU SDGs multi-stakeholders platform - CSR Europe, SDGWatch, WWF - will contribute with the views of civil society.

25 Feb

CoR rapporteur meets with members of the cabinet of the 1st EC Vice-President Dombrovskis

Ricardo Rio met with members of Commissioner Dombrovskis in charge of SDGs, recovery and European Semester. They discussed the Recovery and Resilience Facility and its possible links with SDGs, the role of regions and cities in sustainability, as well as the work of the European Commission on sustainable trade.

24 Feb