Co-operatives Europe and other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have appealed to the European Commission for more stringent enforcing and monitoring of progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The organisations have sent a joint letter to Frans Timmermans, first vice president of the European Commission, to call for a Sustainable Development Strategy. They have requested a plan to be developed for concrete implementation, follow up, and a comprehensive monitoring system.
The 2030 Agenda is a set of goals set by the United Nations to improve issues such as living conditions, equality and general sustainability.
Since June 2015, the members of CSOs from the sustainability, development, environment and social sectors have been meeting to consider how best to encourage movement towards the development goals, both in Europe and beyond.
The senior representatives of the 83 organisations that have signed the document are looking to meet with Timmermans to discuss the proposals.
The document says: “The EU must ensure that it does not cherry-pick the easiest or preferred goals and must go beyond policy-as-usual by aiming for the highest level of ambition in all the targets, guaranteeing that no one is left behind and that planetary boundaries are fully respected.”
The letter also requests that the European Commission regularly analyses progress and that existing EU policies and processes be scrutinised in light of the need to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
It reads: “The new EU Sustainable Development Strategy and associated implementation policies should be subject to broad consultation with all stakeholders through an institutionalised and inclusive process. For this to be a meaningful and transparent exercise, it is critical that the results of the gap analysis are made public and sufficient notice is given of the means and timing of the consultation.”
There is also a strong call for accountability and the understanding that the EU should differentiate between the parts of the Agenda for which member states are responsible, and those where the EU must take the lead.
The letter ends on a note of co-operation by reminding that everyone must take responsibility as “sustainable development challenges and solutions rarely sit within national borders.”