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European Commission Defines Main Action Points on 2030 Agenda Implementation

Nov 22nd, 2016 |

Last week the European Commission published series of three communications that outline its approach to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Europe as well as through EU development policy and a renewed partnership with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

The Communication on ‘Next steps for a sustainable European Future: European action for sustainability’ proposed 2 work streams  in implementing the 2030 Agenda: (i) mainstreaming the SDGs in European policy frameworks and current Commission priorities, and (ii) reflecting on further developing the EU’s longer-term vision and sectoral policies after 2020.

In the Communication, the EC states its intention to use all possible instruments to work towards a sustainable future, and notes its plan to launch a multi-stakeholder platform with a role in follow-up and review of SDG implementation across sectors.

A Staff Working Document that accompanies the Communication maps how European policies and actions contribute to the SDGs, concluding that current EU water policy is sufficient to reach SDG 6 on sustainable water and sanitation.

In addition, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, has also approved a set of indicators for monitoring Sustainable Development in the European Union, with two water-specific indicators: one which examines the population which does not have access to basic sanitation facilities and the other which examines biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) in rivers as indicator of organic pollution in rivers and the efeectiveness of water treatment. Both selected indicators demonstrate that EU made progress in improving water quality (BOD fell by 20,4% between 2002 and 2012) and providing access to basic sanitation facilities (in 2015 2.4% of EU population, 12 million people lacked such access).

In line with the conclusion from the 2016 EWP conference that the EU needs to move beyond business-as-usual if SDG 6 on water and comprehensive Agenda 2030 were to be achieved, EWP is looking forward to the promised EU’s vision on long-term implementation of the SDGs, as the current proposal from the European Commission seems to only put forward ongoing actions and policy responses. However, we believe this vision must be developed urgently and with input from all interested stakeholders.

To read the communication of the EU Commisson, see here.

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