Full text 
Procedure : 2018/2279(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0160/2019

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 14/03/2019 - 6
CRE 14/03/2019 - 6

Votes :

CRE 14/03/2019 - 11.19
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Texts adopted
PDF 189kWORD 71k
Thursday, 14 March 2019 - Strasbourg
Annual strategic report on the implementation and delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals

European Parliament resolution of 14 March 2019 on the Annual strategic report on the implementation and delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (2018/2279(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the United Nations resolution entitled ‘Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015 in New York,

–  having regard to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to the Paris Agreement, adopted at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris on 12 December 2015, and to the submission of 6 March 2015 by Latvia and the European Commission to the UNFCCC of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) of the EU and its Member States,

–  having regard to the Third International Conference on Financing for Development held in Addis Ababa from 13 to 16 July 2015,

–  having regard to regard to Article 208 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to Article 7 of the TFEU, which reaffirms that the EU ‘shall ensure consistency between its policies and activities, taking all of its objectives into account’,

–  having regard to the Joint Declaration of the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission of 7 June 2017 entitled ‘New European Consensus on Development – “Our world, our dignity, our future”’(1),

–  having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 22 November 2016 entitled ‘Next steps for a sustainable European future – European action for sustainability’(COM(2016)0739);

–  having regard to the Commission Reflection Paper entitled ‘Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030’, published on 30 January 2019,

–  having regard to the high-level multi-stakeholder platform on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and to its joint contribution of 11 October 2018, which recommends that the EU develop and implement an overarching visionary and transformative Sustainable Europe 2030 strategy, to guide all EU policies and programmes, including both interim and long-term targets, and lay out the EU’s vision for a sustainable Europe beyond the 2030 Agenda,

–  having regard to the 2019 EU Report on Policy Coherence for Development, published on 28 January 2019,

–  having regard to the General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 entitled ‘Living well, within the limits of our planet’(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 May 2015 on Financing for Development(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 May 2016 on the follow-up to and review of the 2030 Agenda(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 June 2016 on the EU 2015 Report on Policy Coherence for Development(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 22 November 2016 on increasing the effectiveness of development cooperation(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2017 on EU action for sustainability(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 March 2018 on the European Semester for economic policy coordination: Annual Growth Survey 2018(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 July 2018 on violation of the rights of indigenous peoples in the world, including land grabbing(9),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 20 June 2017 on the EU response to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (10502/17),

–  having regard to the European Commission proposal of 30 May 2018 for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) (COM(2018)0382),

–  having regard to the European Pillar of Social Rights,

–  having regard to the joint statement of 20 November 2018 between the World Health Organisation and the European Parliament entitled ‘United to accelerate progress to health related Sustainable Development Goals – leaving no one behind’,

–  having regard to Eurostat’s 2018 monitoring report on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals in an EU context,

–  having regard to the Europe 2020 strategy,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 19 September 2018 entitled ‘Indicators better suited to evaluate the SDGs – the civil society contribution’,

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 18 October 2018 (EUCO 13/18) stating that the EU and its Member States are fully committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its implementation, and in which the European Council welcomed the intention of the Commission to publish its Reflection Paper in 2018, calling for it to pave the way for a comprehensive implementation strategy in 2019;

–  having regard to the EU priorities at the United Nations and the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (September 2018 – September 2019), adopted by the Council on 25 June 2018,

–  having regard to the contribution of the multi-stakeholder platform on Sustainable Development Goals to the Commission Reflection Paper entitled ‘Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030’, released on 12 October 2018,

–  having regard to the Global Compact for Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees of 2018,

–  having regard to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, adopted by UN Member States at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction on 18 March 2015,

–  having regard to the joint communiqué between the European Union and the United Nations of 27 September 2018 entitled ‘A renewed partnership in development’(10),

–  having regard to the joint communiqué released following the Third African Union-European Union-United Nations Trilateral Meeting, held in New York on 23 September 2018(11),

–  having regard to the Joint EU - UN Press Statement of 23 September 2018(12),

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the joint deliberations of the Committee on Development and the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety under Rule 55 of the Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Development and the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A8-0160/2019),

A.  whereas the 2030 Agenda has the potential to be transformative and sets out universal, ambitious, comprehensive, indivisible and interlinked goals, aimed at eradicating poverty, fighting growing inequalities and discrimination, promoting prosperity, sustainability, environmental responsibility, social inclusion, gender equality and respect for human rights, ensuring economic, social and territorial cohesion and strengthening peace and security; whereas immediate action, at all levels, together with an effective European implementation strategy, monitoring and review mechanism are essential to the achievement of the SDGs;

B.  whereas the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs represent an ambitious vision for a more prosperous, inclusive and resilient world; whereas the 2030 Agenda is based on the Union’s core values of democracy, participation, good governance, social justice, solidarity, sustainability and respect for the rule of law and human rights, within the EU, its Member States and around the globe; whereas striving to achieve the SDGs therefore naturally follows the Union’s plans to build a better, healthier and more sustainable future for Europe, which should be among the EU’s strategic priorities;

C.  whereas the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the SDGs represent a challenge; whereas the 17 goals and 169 targets require coordination between the EU and its Member States, the European Parliament, national parliaments and regional and local authorities, as well as a multi-level governance approach, also based on active and broad-based public, civil society and private sector engagement;

D.  whereas the involvement of social partners has been instrumental in the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs from the beginning, promoting the inclusion of priorities such as decent work, the fight against inequalities and civil society participation; whereas their active participation in the review process of the progress and implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs is key;

E.  whereas the Commission has not yet established a comprehensive strategy to implement the 2030 Agenda encompassing EU internal and external policy areas with detailed timelines up to 2030, objectives and concrete measures, as requested by Parliament, the Council and the European Council, nor has it included the SDGs as an overarching framework in the revised Better Regulation Guidelines published in 2017; whereas common indicators and benchmarks are required in order to measure and to monitor systematically the implementation of such a strategy and to identify shortcomings, both now and in the future;

F.  whereas sustainability and the transition to a climate-neutral, circular and socially inclusive economy are key to ensuring the long-term growth and competitiveness of the EU, which will only be possible if the planetary boundaries are fully respected;

G.  whereas the European Consensus on Development recognises that Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) is a fundamental part of the EU’s contribution to achieving the SDGs and that sustainable development requires a holistic and cross-cutting policy approach, ultimately being an issue of governance which needs to be pursued in partnership with all stakeholders and at all levels; whereas an effective implementation of PCD is essential to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda;

H.  whereas the EU’s policy and governance framework already includes a certain number of binding and non-binding policy targets, benchmarks and indicators in fields such as the budget, social affairs, energy and climate, without consisting of a comprehensive, coherent and joined-up policy strategy;

I.  whereas the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires enhanced awareness among citizens;

J.  whereas ex-ante assessments and ex-post evaluations are crucial tools to ensure that EU policies do not have a negative impact on sustainable development, in particular on developing countries, and that their positive impact is maximised; whereas assessments and evaluations should be published in order to ensure full transparency and accountability;

K.  whereas the 2030 Agenda is a universal agenda that should be implemented in every country; whereas the principle of universality requires every country to consider the impact of its actions in relation to others, in order to ensure policy coherence for development, which, given the complexity and the fragmentation of EU policies, represents a great challenge for the Union;

L.  whereas the Commission is required, under the 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP), to assess the environmental impact, in a global context, of Union consumption of food and non-food commodities;

M.  whereas the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) could play a strong role in the evidence-based aspects of monitoring and accountability as regards effectiveness principles for achieving the SDGs and in supporting their fuller implementation by all actors at national level; whereas the GPEDC should provide clearly defined channels for cooperation for specific development actors beyond OECD donors, including emerging donors, civil society organisations, private philanthropists, financial institutions and private-sector companies;

N.  whereas the financing of the SDGs poses an enormous challenge which not only demands a strong political commitment by the EU and its Member States, but also a strong global partnership and the use of all forms of financing (from domestic, international, public, private and innovative sources); whereas private financing is essential but should not substitute public funding;

O.  whereas achieving the SDGs depends not only on sufficient finance, but also on non-financial actions, as acknowledged in the 2030 Agenda;

P.  whereas effective mobilisation of domestic resources is an indispensable factor in achieving the aims of the 2030 Agenda; whereas developing countries are particularly affected by corporate tax evasion and tax avoidance;

Q.  whereas Article 208 of the TFEU stipulates that development cooperation policy shall have as its primary objective the reduction and, in the long term, the eradication of poverty;

R.  whereas the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) will meet at summit level, under the auspices of the UN General Assembly in September 2019, to take stock of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda as a whole, reviewing progress on all SDGs in a comprehensive manner, and at ministerial level in July 2019, to review progress on SDGs 4 (quality education), 8 (decent work and economic growth), 10 (reduced inequalities), 13 (climate action), 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and 17 (partnerships for the goals), and annually thereafter in order to conduct progress reviews of the goals not reviewed under the 2019 thematic review;

S.  whereas the UN General Assembly summit on the SDGs provides an opportunity for the EU and its Member States to highlight their progress in advancing the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs in a comprehensive manner;

T.  whereas in the follow-up and review process of the 2030 Agenda at the UN, the EU has not always been united in its voting behaviour, particularly in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights,

U.  whereas the HLPF provides an opportune space for the EU and its Member States to review their progress in advancing the 2030 Agenda through Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and to play a leading role as the largest provider of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and as a driving force for sustainability and environmental policies; whereas these completed VNRs serve to assess SDG progress and flag present gaps and challenges;

V.  whereas ODA will play a crucial role in delivering on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – particularly in low-income countries and in fighting extreme poverty and inequality – if it respects the development effectiveness principles, namely country ownership, transparency and accountability, focus on results, and inclusiveness;

W.  whereas the principle of ‘leaving no one behind’ is at the core of the 2030 Agenda; whereas in 2017 around 22,5 % of the EU population were at risk of poverty or social exclusion and 6,9 % of its population were still severely materially deprived(13); whereas inequalities have manifold social consequences, such as large differences in well-being and quality of life, including with regard to professional opportunities and healthcare;

X.  whereas there is a persistently high level of child poverty and social exclusion in the Union (26,4 % in 2017); whereas the European Pillar of Social Rights states that children have the right to protection from poverty and that children from disadvantaged backgrounds have the right to specific measures to enhance equal opportunities; whereas investing early in children yields significant returns for these children and society as a whole, and is crucial to breaking the vicious cycle of disadvantage in early years;

Y.  whereas over the past five years, the EU has made progress towards almost all SDGs, with seven of the EU-27 Member States among the top 10 in the Global SDG Index ranking, and whereas all EU-27 Member States are in the top 50 (out of 156)(14);whereas some Member States are already leading the implementation of the SDGs; whereas the EU nevertheless still lacks an implementation strategy for the SDGs;

Z.  whereas high and rising inequality between and within countries can have significant social and economic costs; whereas inequality is in clear contradiction to the objective of sustainable development;

AA.  whereas Better Regulation has been explicitly mentioned in a Commission communication as being another way to ensure the further mainstreaming of sustainable development in EU policies(15);

AB.  whereas the Commission staff working document of 19 July 2018 on Combatting HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and tuberculosis in the European Union and Neighbouring countries (SWD(2018)0387) highlights the gaps and limitations in surveillance data for viral hepatitis which make it difficult to assess the distance that EU Member States need to cover in order to reach the SDG target;

AC.  whereas the Commission White Paper of 1 March 2017 on the future of Europe (COM(2017)2025) did not include sustainable development or the 2030 Agenda as a vision or narrative for the future of the EU;

AD.  whereas the UNICEF report entitled ‘Progress for Every Child in the SDG Era’, published in March 2018, found an alarming lack of data in 64 countries, as well as insufficient progress towards the SDGs in another 37 countries; whereas over half a billion children live in countries unable to measure SDG progress;

AE.  whereas decent work is the basis for fair and inclusive growth and a driver of development and social advancement; whereas along with social protection for those that cannot find a job or are unable to work, it addresses inequality and exerts a major pull on social and economic progress;

European leadership for universal values within a multilateral framework for people, planet and prosperity

1.  Stresses that the complex global challenges the world faces require the holistic and integrated response that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has the potential to deliver;

2.  Highlights that the aim of the 2030 Agenda is to achieve greater well-being for all, within the limits of the planet, and a fair world, leaving no-one behind, and that the four essential pillars of sustainable development (social, environmental, economic and governance) must be addressed in a comprehensive manner in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); underlines the fact that sustainable development is a fundamental objective of the Union, as laid down in Article 3(3) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and should play a central role in the debate on and the narrative for the future of Europe; furthermore emphasises that the implementation of the SDGs should lead to a paradigm shift and become the EU’s overarching long-term economic model to succeed the current Europe 2020 strategy;

3.  Underlines that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda is closely linked to European values and interests and represents a significant innovation with the potential to reinvigorate the global order, based on multilateralism and international cooperation;

4.  Recalls the need to systematically disaggregate data on all relevant indicators across all goals and targets by sex and other characteristics;

5.  Stresses that the Union should renew its commitment to being a global frontrunner in implementing the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, together with its Member States and their local and regional authorities, in line with the principle of subsidiarity and in close cooperation with its international partners; recalls that the EU’s political engagement should be reflected in the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021-2027; underlines that the 2030 Agenda must further catalyse a coordinated approach between the EU’s internal and external action and its other policies and coherence across Union financing instruments for a global response and commitment towards sustainable growth and development;

6.  Insists that implementing the SDGs requires effective cooperation at EU, national, regional and local levels, respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality; stresses the important role of the Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils in this cooperation, and considers that their involvement at all levels of governance should be reinforced;

7.  Welcomes the fact that many Member States and partner countries beyond the EU have made considerable efforts to design mechanisms and strategies to implement the SDGs and to integrate them into their policies and governance frameworks; urges those Member States which have not yet developed such mechanisms to do so; underlines that the EU, by helping and encouraging third countries to follow similar actions, contributes to reaching a level playing field; acknowledges that further improvements at EU level are still needed;

8.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure a horizontal approach to the SDGs in their policies;

9.  Recognises that in 2015 all European countries, both EU and non-EU, committed to the 2030 Agenda; believes that, in the context of the debate on the future of Europe, consideration should be given to the development of a pan-European framework for the achievement of the SDGs between EU Member States, the EEA, signatories to EU association agreements, EU candidate countries and, following its withdrawal, the United Kingdom; underlines the importance of promoting parliamentary debates at all levels;

10.  Welcomes the Commission Reflection Paper entitled ‘Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030’, which sets out three scenarios for how the EU might take forward the SDGs; favours the first scenario, which proposes an overarching strategy for the implementation of the SDGs by the EU and the Member States; considers that, in the context of the future of Europe, a sustainable Europe is the way forward to ensure the well-being and prosperity of its citizens and the planet;

11.  Regrets that the Commission has not yet developed an integrated and holistic SDG implementation strategy;

12.  Underlines the importance of ODA as a key instrument for eradicating poverty and recalls the respective ODA commitments of the EU and the Member States, including the commitment to the target of spending 0,7 % of Gross National Income (GNI) on ODA, with between 0,15 and 0,20 % of ODA/GNI allocated to Least Developed Countries; calls on the EU and its Member States to recommit without delay to the 0,7 % ODA/GNI target and to gradually increase ODA in order to reach this target within a clear timeline; calls on the Member States to establish verifiable annual action plans for reaching individual ODA targets; underlines that, given the responsibility of both the EU and the Member States in meeting the 0,7 % ODA/GNI target, Member States are accountable to both national parliaments and the European Parliament;

13.  Recognises that health gains must be protected and progress accelerated in order to reach the SDGs; states that while the world has made remarkable progress on several fronts with regard to health, many challenges remain, among which is that of addressing health disparities between the populations of stable countries and those living in fragile and vulnerable environments, as well as health disparities within countries themselves;

14.  Recognises that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has reinforced global health as a political priority; states that healthy populations are critical to sustainable development – to ending poverty, promoting peaceful and inclusive societies and protecting the environment; insists that health is also an outcome and indicator of progress that reflects the success of many goals and the 2030 agenda as a whole;

15.  Underlines that, overall, the EU has managed to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions and decouple them from economic growth, thus robustly contributing to the global effort, also taking into account emissions embedded in the EU’s imports and exports(16); notes, however, that more efforts are needed, both at EU level and globally;

Enhancing strategic and joined-up EU action towards achieving the global goals

16.  Calls on the Commission to establish an in-depth gap analysis of existing policies and their implementation in order to identify critical areas of synergies and incoherencies; invites the Commission to clearly identify, without further delay, the steps to be taken by 2030 in terms of policies and legislation, statistics and disaggregated data collection, and governance and implementation, in order to establish, by the end of 2019, a comprehensive strategy for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda;

17.  Urges the Commission to draw up an ambitious, overarching and all-encompassing strategy for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, fully integrating the SDGs in EU policies and governance, providing guidance for both the EU institutions and the Member States in their implementation, monitoring and review of the 2030 Agenda, and outlining detailed roadmaps, concrete targets and deadlines; asks the Commission to ensure that this strategy addresses the interlinkages of the SDGs;

18.  Calls on the Commission to strengthen its collaboration with the UN and on the EU Member States to support its ongoing reform, making it fit for purpose to implement the 2030 Agenda;

19.  Recalls that all SDGs are relevant for the fulfilment of the rights of children; stresses the importance of implementing the EU Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child in the context of EU external relations; asks the Commission to monitor and report on progress on the rights of the child in EU external programmes;

20.  Calls on the Commission, as a key foundation for building a sustainable Europe, to lead the development of a sustainable food production and consumption model that protects and removes pressure of food systems on health and the environment and brings economic benefits to farmers, companies and citizens;

21.  Calls on the Commission to work, in collaboration with key stakeholders at all levels, towards ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages, in particular with a view to making healthcare more accessible, affordable, effective, and sustainable, addressing risk factors of non-communicable diseases in a more holistic way, exchanging best practices, and strengthening the capacity to prevent and manage global health threats such as antimicrobial resistance;

22.  Calls upon the Commission to align programmatic, financing and operational policies, approaches and methodologies where it can enhance efficiency and effectiveness, with the UN and its partners, in order to improve effectiveness on a number of common priorities such as gender equality and reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health, climate change and the environment, and addressing inequalities and poverty;

23.  Stresses that ensuring tax justice and transparency, fighting tax avoidance and evasion, eradicating illicit financial flows and tax havens and increasing domestic resource mobilisation is crucial to the financing of the 2030 Agenda; reiterates its call to assess the spill-over impact of national and EU tax policies on developing countries, ensuring policy coherence for development;

24.  Stresses the importance of addressing social and economic inequalities and promoting gender equality within the EU and worldwide; recalls the underlying principle of the 2030 Agenda of ‘leaving no one behind’; calls, therefore, on the Commission to pay particular attention to the most marginalised and vulnerable in society in order to ensure full inclusiveness;

25.  Calls on the Commission to promote sustainable global value chains with the introduction of due diligence systems for companies, with a focus on their entire supply chains, which would encourage businesses to invest more responsibly and stimulate a more effective implementation of sustainability chapters in free trade agreements, including anticorruption, transparency, anti-tax avoidance and responsible business conduct;

26.  Considers that the SDGs should be at the centre of the EU’s strategy for sustainable development and inclusive growth; underlines the need to clearly set out common indicators, benchmarks and targets, and an analysis of the distance to targets and goals, the actions required to reach them and the means by which they will be implemented; stresses that the EU’s 2030 strategy should also outline when and how the Union will undertake sustainability impact assessments to address existing gaps, reorient existing policies and develop new legislative proposals or reviews of Union legislation, while ensuring coherence and coordination actions both at EU and Member State levels; calls, therefore, on the Commission and the Council, in all its formations, to pursue this work without delay;

27.  Considers that the European Semester should involve Parliament and be aligned with the 2030 Agenda, and that a sustainability check should be included in the process; calls, therefore, on the Commission to further adapt the existing European Semester process; underlines that this would in particular require that the European Semester take into account all dimensions of the SDGs in a comprehensive way;

28.  Urges the Commission to develop a comprehensive strategy to support investment that enhances environmental sustainability, and to ensure a proper link between the SDGs and the European Semester;

29.  Stresses the need for clear identification of the steps to be taken at each governance level for the implementation of the goals and targets, while following the principle of subsidiarity; calls for the establishment of clear and coherent sustainable development pathways at the appropriate level (national, subnational, local) within those Member States which have not established them already; stresses that the Commission should provide guidance on this process in order to ensure a coherent approach; calls for a multilevel approach in order to create better understanding, high engagement and shared responsibility around the implementation of SDGs;

30.  Welcomes the publication of the second Eurostat monitoring report on sustainable development in the EU, which represents a step forward towards the creation of a fully-fledged EU monitoring mechanism;

31.  Underlines the need for the Commission to develop an integrated, effective and participatory monitoring, accountability and review framework for the implementation and mainstreaming of the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda which is consistent with the UN Global Indicator Framework and which gathers information and relevant disaggregated data at national and subnational levels while acknowledging that Eurostat alone cannot comprehensively capture all dimensions of SDG progress; underlines the need to take account of spill-over effects and of the interlinked and indivisible nature of the goals and requests that Eurostat be mandated also to report systematically on SDG performance for each and every Member State, based on a uniform set of indicators;

32.  Stresses the need for a wide range of indicators which are not purely economic in nature and which capture the transformative nature of the SDGs, in particular with regard to addressing poverty in all its forms, and which should be measured by disaggregated data relevant to the achievement of the SDGs; underlines the need for Eurostat to establish a set of specific progress indicators for the internal application of the SDGs in the EU at the respective governance levels;

33.  Recalls the key role of the EU in enhancing standards of transparency, accountability and sustainability in global value chains; underlines that the EU is a normative and economic power and must therefore position itself as a leader in good practices and the establishment of worldwide rules; calls on the Commission and the Member States to support the negotiations for a binding UN treaty on transnational corporations and human rights;

34.  Calls on the EU Member States to provide data for the effective monitoring of viral hepatitis in line with the indicators established by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and calls on the Commission to monitor this process closely, in line with the commitment made in its communication of November 2016 entitled ‘Next steps for a sustainable European future’;

35.  Underlines the importance of raising awareness on the transformative potential of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its goals; recalls the need to engage with citizens and civil society organisations throughout the implementation and monitoring processes; stresses the important role played by the European Parliament and national parliaments;

36.  Highlights the importance of transparency and democratic accountability when monitoring the EU’s progress on the 2030 Agenda and consequently underlines the role of the co-legislators in this process; considers that the conclusion of a binding interinstitutional agreement under Article 295 of the TFEU would provide an appropriate framework for cooperation in this regard;

37.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to further improve the information available and the awareness of citizens regarding the need for completion of the 2030 Agenda;

38.  Stresses that the MFF must be oriented towards the 2030 Agenda and ensure enhanced mainstreaming of sustainable development in all funding mechanisms and budgetary lines; calls upon the Commission, therefore, to enhance accountability for delivering collective results through the MFF; reiterates its position on the future MFF, which calls for a compulsory mid-term revision, following a review of the functioning of the MFF, and taking into account an assessment of the progress made with regard to the SDGs; stresses the need to check the planned financial envelopes of existing policies to ensure coherence with sustainable development;

39.  Considers that significant acceleration of green investment, innovation and growth in the EU is needed for the timely and successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda and underlines the importance of a wider uptake of innovative and existing financing tools such as green public procurement, as well as the urgent need for different approaches to current investment policy, in particular the phasing out of environmentally harmful subsidies;

40.  Welcomes the increasing amount of institutional and private capital allocated to financing the SDGs and underlines the importance of a robust sustainable finance framework, including a calibration of the capital requirements on banks and a prudential treatment of high-carbon assets, prudential rules for insurance companies and an update of institutional investors’ and asset managers’ duties;

Policy coherence, coordination and mainstreaming of SDGs

41.  Stresses the importance of better coordination and cooperation between and within decision-making bodies, different organisations and relevant stakeholders, including local authorities and civil society organisations, in order to implement the 2030 Agenda and to achieve greater Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD);

42.  Welcomes the adoption of the 2019 Commission report on Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) and the attempt to better integrate PCD into the EU approach to implementing SDGs; recalls that PCD is a principle laid down in Article 208 of the TFEU while also being fundamental for achieving the SDGs;

43.  Acknowledges the progress made by the PCD tools in influencing EU policy-making; calls for further efforts to make sure that non-development policies take into account development objectives as a result of PCD mechanisms;

44.  Underlines that PCD constitutes a fundamental element of and contribution to PCSD; strongly recommends that the best practices and lessons learned from PCD are applied in further developing and operationalising PCSD;

45.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to reaffirm their commitment to PCD as an important contribution towards achieving broader PCSD in their actions for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda; stresses the need to enhance mechanisms for policy coherence within all EU institutions and policy-making processes and to ensure that the principle is adequately respected in regular ex-ante impact assessment and by introducing adequate mechanisms for accountability and mitigation;

46.  Is of the view that PCSD means that all relevant policies and all financial and non-financial instruments at EU level must in future be designed, implemented and monitored with a view to achieving the SDGs, and that the Commission should, therefore, rapidly develop the necessary policy capacities at all levels;

47.  Urges the Commission to adopt a follow-up action plan in line with the recommendations of the external evaluation of PCD calling for the adoption of a clear set of rules for the implementation of the concept; reiterates its call to distinctly define the responsibilities of each EU institution in achieving PCD commitments;

48.  Reiterates its call for PCD to be discussed at European Council level in order to give impetus to the implementation of its mechanisms in pursuit of the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; believes that, as has been pointed out in the external evaluation of PCD, only with political will from the EU will there be a significant impact on the promotion and effectiveness of the PCD approach;

49.  Stresses the need, given the legal commitment to promoting PCD expressed in Article 208 of the TFEU, for the EU to pro-actively enter into dialogue with developing countries and regions in order to discuss and consider major policy initiatives that may affect them;

50.  Stresses that the EU has some of the world’s highest environmental standards, and that its businesses are ahead of the curve compared to global competitors, which is why the EU is also seen as a stronghold of freedom and democracy, with stable institutions based on the rule of law and a vibrant civil society; considers that the EU could therefore decide to promote more strongly its current environmental, social and governance standards;

51.  Welcomes the establishment of a working party on the 2030 Agenda under the General Affairs Council; calls for the establishment of SDG coordination and cooperation mechanisms between and within Parliament, the Council and the Commission, in order to ensure policy coherence; underlines that such mechanisms should be clearly framed and determined within an Interinstitutional Agreement for a Sustainable Europe by 2030, as coherent political processes between the three institutions will be critical for the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda; calls for the involvement of all three institutions in the future work of the multi-stakeholder platform on SDGs and highlights the importance of the inclusion of all relevant actors in this platform, including civil society organisations;

52.  Believes that, in line with SDG 17 on Partnerships, the role of the existing multi-stakeholder platform on SDGs should be upgraded and brought into a formal and interinstitutional consultation framework;

53.  Stresses the role of development cooperation in supporting implementation of the 2030 Agenda in developing countries; welcomes the mainstreaming of the SDGs into the new European Consensus on Development; recalls that poverty eradication (SDG 1) must remain the principal objective of EU development cooperation; recalls that SDG 1 and SDG 2 are intrinsically linked; reiterates that despite progress, the current pace and scope of implementation is unlikely to promote the transformational change needed to realise the objectives of SDG 2; calls for increased efforts to follow up on the recommendations of the 2017 HLPF thematic review of SDG 2;

54.  Reiterates its call for the mainstreaming of the delivery of the SDGs across all policy areas; welcomes the Commission’s commitment to mainstream the SDGs into its Better Regulation Agenda and underlines the potential for strategic use of the Better Regulation tools in the Commission’s independent evaluations of EU policy coherence for the 2030 Agenda and its development cooperation policy; calls on the Commission to revise swiftly the Better Regulation Agenda Guidelines and to further strengthen and monitor its regular ex-ante assessments in order to ensure full policy coherence in the implementation of the SDGs while promoting synergies, gaining co-benefits and avoiding trade-offs, both at Union and Member State level;

55.  Calls for cross-committee coordination in Parliament, with a view to overseeing and following up on the EU’s implementation of its 2030 Agenda commitments;

56.  Calls on the Conference of Presidents and the Conference of Committee Chairs of the European Parliament to assess the appropriateness of Parliament’s current structure with a view to ensuring its ability to effectively and comprehensively monitor across all policy sectors the work towards achieving the SDGs in the EU’s internal and external policies;

57.  Calls for Parliament, the Commission and the Council to work towards a Joint Sustainability Declaration, anchoring the SDGs in the multiannual interinstitutional priorities of the next legislative term;

58.  Emphasises the role of regular and adequate ex-ante impact assessments as well as ex-post evaluations in ensuring the better mainstreaming of the 2030 Agenda and delivering results; underlines the importance of evaluating the short- and long-term consequences of policies and their potential contribution to sustainable development; recalls the Treaty obligation to take into account the objectives of development cooperation in all policies likely to affect developing countries;

59.  Recalls the vital importance of domestic resource mobilisation (DRM) for developing countries in achieving the SDGs; stresses that the report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) entitled ’World Investment Report 2015 – Reforming International Investment Governance’(17) estimates that developing countries lose at least USD 100 billion per year in corporate tax revenue due to tax dodging by large companies; welcomes in this regard the Commission staff working document of 15 October 2015 entitled ‘Collect More – Spend Better: Achieving Development in an Inclusive and Sustainable Way’ (SWD(2015)0198), aiming at tackling this issue; regrets, however, that no concrete actions have been undertaken to ensure the implementation of the abovementioned Commission strategy; calls on the Commission to propose a flagship programme on DRM to ensure more tax revenues are collected and allow for the financing of the SDGs;

60.  Insists on the need to strengthen local actors as agents for sustainable development and calls for the stronger participation of national parliaments and regional and local authorities at all stages of SDG implementation, from planning and programming to evaluation and monitoring; calls on the Commission, furthermore, to enhance its support to cities and local authorities to develop, implement and monitor effective policy initiatives and strategies to achieve the SDGs;

61.  Welcomes the growing involvement of the private sector in helping to achieve the SDGs; stresses the importance of creating an environment that facilitates new initiatives and partnerships between the public and the private sectors, and that encourages companies to align their business strategies with sustainable development objectives;

62.  Recalls that the UN estimates that investments of USD 5 to 7 trillion are needed annually to achieve the SDGs; insists, therefore, on the need to mobilise investments, and welcomes the potential of the EU External Investment Plan in this regard;

Voluntary National Reviews and EU reporting for the UN General Assembly HLPF 2019

63.  Encourages Member States to conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress and encourages those Member States that have not already committed to completing a VNR to do so in accordance with the 2030 Agenda and for Member States having already presented a VNR to set up a calendar for regular future VNRs;

64.  Calls on the Commission to conduct regular analysis of the VNRs of Member States in order to assess progress and good practices; further calls for analysis of the VNRs of Least Developed Countries in order to identify needs, close gaps and enhance support and cooperation, and to cooperate closely within the OECD in developing peer review mechanisms for successful SDG implementation strategies and action in domestic and external policies, and to improve exchange of best practices and monitoring of negative external spill-over effects;

65.  Encourages the Commission and the Member States to broaden the joint programming and joint implementation of development cooperation, based on SDG policy dialogues with partner countries, national development plans and VNRs, duly taking into account country ownership and other principles of development effectiveness;

66.  Stresses the role of the HLPF in the follow-up and review of the SDGs; strongly supports the Union’s commitment to complete a voluntary review at the HLPF; calls on the Commission to honour the EU’s leading role in designing and implementing the 2030 Agenda and to present an comprehensive joined-up report on all SDGs; underlines that EU reporting, including the forthcoming Joint Synthesis Report on the EU support to developing countries, should include an analysis of the state of play and current shortcomings and gaps;

67.  Calls the Commission to position itself as a role model in the HLPF process; invites the Commission to engage with third countries in progressing towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, including through the UN Economic Commission for Europe;

68.  Calls for the organisation of an annual European SDG forum, in preparation of the HLPF, to allow for the participation of and dialogue between external stakeholders and civil society organisations as well as parliamentarians on SDG implementation;

69.  Welcomes the HLPF meeting at summit level, which will take place under the auspices of the UN General Assembly in September 2019 and thereafter at future summits, as an opportunity to take stock of the implementation of all the SDGs within the 2030 Agenda as a whole and expects the Union to play a leading role in the summit; notes that progress made by Member States varies depending, among other factors, on the SDG in question, national priority objectives and targets; stresses that the SDGs are highly interlinked and that an integrated and comprehensive systemic approach to their implementation should be pursued;

Focus on the SDGs under the upcoming in-depth review at the HLPF 2019

70.  Welcomes the upcoming in-depth review of SDGs 4 (quality education), 8 (decent work and economic growth), 10 (reduced inequalities), 13 (climate action), 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and 17 (partnerships for the goals) and expects the Union to contribute comprehensively to the review in full; looks forward to future in-depth reviews of all other SDGs in the coming years, while underlining the indivisibility of the 2030 Agenda and the interconnectedness of the goals;

71.  Reiterates that quality education and access to primary education for all (SDG 4) is essential for achieving sustainable development and self-sustained societies as well as for ensuring youth empowerment and employability; acknowledges that quality education is a high-ranking focus area in many Member States and stresses that technical and vocational training are essential for youth employability and access to qualified jobs; deplores, however the fact that disparities in education along the lines of urban-rural divides and gender are still prevalent both within and outside the EU; calls, therefore, for greater investments to improve the quality of education and related infrastructure with a particular focus on less developed regions internally and Least Developed Countries externally;

72.  Encourages the Commission and the Member States to address targets more systematically under SDG 8 (sustainable growth and employment) within their development cooperation policies and (joint) programming; calls for further contributions towards achieving SDG 8, including improvements to productivity capacities, revenue generation, industrialisation, sustainable consumption and production patterns, trade, private sector development, business environments, infrastructure and tourism;

73.  Recognises the role of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, cooperatives, inclusive business models and research institutes as engines of growth, employment and local innovation; calls for the promotion of a level playing field for sustainable investment, industrialisation, business activity, including responsible business conduct, finance and taxation, science, technology, and research and innovation, in order to stimulate and accelerate domestic economic and human development and to contribute to long-term sustainable growth in line with the SDGs and the Paris Agreement; calls on the Commission and the Member States to encourage the emergence of new business models and take advantage of new technologies such as artificial intelligence;

74.  Underlines the crucial role of the private sector in progressing towards the SDGs, in particular with regard to responsible and sustainable investments and enhancing inclusive growth, as well as promoting and committing to responsible business conduct; stresses in this context the need for investment friendly policy frameworks, including sustainability performance indicators and requirements to enable the integration of sustainability risks in investment decision-making and the rule of law;

75.  Acknowledges that EU research, development and innovation hubs and incubators are important to support structures for sustainable development; calls on the Commission and the Member States, therefore, to promote stronger links between research and business in order to enable the exchange best practises and spur innovation; underlines that research and innovation funding needs to be complemented with a strategic approach to investment, allowing innovative solutions to reach the market, as these often require capital intensive and high-risk investments;

76.  Calls on the Council to keep in mind the SDGs when developing its position on the future ESF+ and the allocation of the necessary financial allocations; underlines that the success of the SDGs in the Union depends on ambitious policies backed by sufficient resources;

77.  Regrets the fact that there are still notable differences in the progress made by Member States towards achieving SDG 10, in terms of reducing inequalities in income and those based on age, sex, disability, ethnicity, origin, religion, economic status and other factors, which can improve social cohesion, and that inequalities persist and are increasing within and among countries, inside and outside the EU; calls for progress to be accelerated towards reducing growing disparities and promoting equal opportunities for all, directly assisting vulnerable groups and those most in need and generating more inclusive and sustainable growth, as well as human development; calls on the Commission to include, among others, improved criteria on economic inequality in its review of SDG 10;

78.  Acknowledges that the EU and all its Member States have signed and ratified the Paris Agreement and that most Member States mention the Paris Agreement as a key pillar of their international cooperation policies alongside the 2030 Agenda, while some have given priority to the goal of combatting climate change and its impacts (SDG 13); calls on the Commission and the Member States to use communication strategies and activities to increase public and political support for climate action and to raise awareness of the co-benefits of fighting climate change, such as improved air quality and public health, the conservation of natural resources, economic growth and higher employment, increased energy security and reduced energy import costs;

79.  Calls for the 2030 Agenda to be implemented as a whole and in a coordinated and coherent manner with the Paris Agreement on climate change, including as regards the need to urgently bridge the gap between what is needed to limit global warming and to increase work on and funding for adaptation; recalls the EU commitment to allocate 20 % of its 2014-2020 budget (some EUR 180 billion) to efforts to combat climate change, including through its external and development cooperation policies;

80.  Regrets the fact that, despite clear and comprehensive scientific evidence brought forward in the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1,5°C, which detailed the damaging impacts of such a temperature increase and the significant difference in severity of those linked to a 2°C increase, some parties to the Paris Agreement have not yet increased their climate ambition; welcomes international collaboration on emissions trading and the linking of third-country and regional carbon markets; calls on the Union to encourage the establishment of market-based emissions reduction schemes in emerging economies and developing countries; notes that this will serve to reduce global emissions, produce cost savings and operational efficiencies and limit carbon leakage risk by creating a global level playing field;

81.  Stresses the need for global climate change mitigation and adaptation and emphasises the fundamental role played by developing countries in fulfilling the objectives of the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, as well as the urgent need to help those countries to achieve their nationally determined contributions ; welcomes, in this regard, the fact that combatting climate change is a priority under the recently established European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), aimed at mobilising public and private sector investment in partner countries in Africa and the EU neighbourhood;

82.  Underlines that the EU should continue on its path, transitioning to a low-carbon, climate-neutral, resource-efficient and biodiverse economy in full compliance with the UN 2030 Agenda and the 17 SDGs, in order to reduce unsustainable tendencies that rely on the overexploitation of natural resources as well as the loss of biodiversity caused by unsustainable consumption and production models; highlights the importance of the EU speeding up its initiatives aimed at promoting responsible and sustainable consumption and production, while playing a leading role in working towards a circular economy;

83.  Reiterates the universal values of democracy, good governance, the rule of law and human rights as preconditions for sustainable development as defined in SDG 16 (peaceful and inclusive societies); deeply regrets, however, the fact that globally, armed conflict and violence are still prevalent; expresses concern about the lack of progress in enhancing the rule of law and access to justice in many countries; recalls the commitment of the EU and the Members States, as expressed in the European Consensus on Development, to a comprehensive approach to conflict and crises, focusing on fragility and human security, while recognising the nexus between sustainable development, humanitarian action, peace and security and paying special attention to fragile and conflict affected states; stresses that the objective of peaceful and inclusive societies, including access to justice for all, should be integrated into EU external action which, by supporting local stakeholders, can help build resilience, promote human security, strengthen the rule of law and address the complex challenges of insecurity, fragility and democratic transition;

84.  Stresses that combating inequalities in and between countries, tackling discrimination and promoting peace, participatory democracy, good governance, the rule of law and human rights must be objectives cutting across EU development policy;

85.  Welcomes the EU’s endeavours to maximise coherence and build synergies between different policies in order to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development;

86.  Stresses that inclusive and equitable education, science, technology, research and innovation are particularly important tools for implementing the SDGs and recognises the need to improve governance in this sector; regrets that the potential contribution of the scientific community has not been fully enhanced so far; emphasises the need for Horizon 2020 and future framework programmes for research to integrate better the concept of sustainable development and societal challenges; recalls the need to facilitate mechanisms for the meaningful transfer of technology to developing countries;

87.  Calls on the Commission to add data related to the SDGs to the high-value datasets as defined in the directive on open data and public sector information and to encourage the Member States to publish all reports on the SDGs under a free license;

88.  Emphasises the importance of fully utilising existing and upcoming EU programmes and instruments, such as the Horizon and LIFE programmes, which enable third country participation in the fields of energy, climate change and sustainable development;

89.  Calls for an EU budget which gives sustainable development the status of a primary objective; recalls that the fight against fraud and tax evasion is an issue of solidarity development;

90.  Emphasises that achieving the SDGs in the areas of food, agriculture, energy, materials, cities, and health and well-being could open market opportunities worth more than EUR 10 trillion(18); underlines, however, that in order to achieve the EU’s ambition of a resource-efficient economy, the EU and its Member States must lead the way in science, technology, and modern infrastructure;

91.  Highlights that given the growing complexity and globalisation of supply chains, it is important to promote the application of high sustainability standards, including in third countries;

o   o

92.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the OECD and the United Nations.

(1) OJ C 210, 30.6.2017, p. 1.
(2) Decision No 1386/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013 (OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, p. 171).
(3) OJ C 353, 27.9.2016, p. 2.
(4) OJ C 76, 28.2.2018, p. 45.
(5) OJ C 86, 6.3.2018, p. 2.
(6) OJ C 224, 27.6.2018, p. 36.
(7) OJ C 334, 19.9.2018, p. 151.
(8) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0077.
(9) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0279.
(13) Eurostat 2017 data from 16 October 2018.
(14) Reflection paper ‘Towards a sustainable Europe by 2030’, page 7. (
(15) Commission communication entitled ‘Next steps for a sustainable European future – European action for sustainability (COM(2016)0739).
(16) In-depth analysis in support of the Commission communication entitled ‘A Clean Planet for all – A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy’ (COM(2018)0773).
(18) Business and Sustainable Development Commission report, Better Business, Better World, January 2017.

Last updated: 25 March 2020Legal notice - Privacy policy