Answer given by Mr Mimica on behalf of the Commission
1. In line with the approach of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development(1), the Commission Communication of November 2016(2) proposes a new European Consensus on Development promoting an integrated approach to the social, economic and environmental dimensions of development. The EU and its Member States are strongly committed to implementing the Agenda in a balanced and integrated manner. The proposed Consensus recognises the need to take the inter-linkages into account in development cooperation and proposes that the EU and its Member States pay particular attention to actions that create co-benefits and meet multiple objectives, for instance in reducing poverty by creating jobs and growth, while promoting sustainable consumption and production.
2. As part of such an integrated approach, the EU and its Member States will promote and facilitate trade and investment in developing countries in support of sustainable development, coordinating development cooperation with trade policy tools. They will promote sustainable consumption and production patterns in a circular economy, resource efficiency and the transformation to low-emission and climate resilient pathways. The Commission considers that private sustainability schemes can be beneficial for sustainable development. Consequently, the proposed Consensus recognises that a higher uptake of responsible practices by a wider range of EU companies with supply chains in developing countries would make a strong contribution to implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The EU and its Member States will continue to support responsible business practices and responsible management of supply chains, integrating human and labour rights, financial probity and environmental standards.
Proposal for a new European Consensus on Development, Our world, our dignity, our future, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, COM(2016) 740.