Recommendations / Council Conclusions comparison
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SDG Watch Europe RecommendationsCOUNCIL CONCLUSIONS
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Vision and Implementation
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Call for the European Commission to lead in developing an overarching EU Sustainable Development Strategy, including a concrete plan of integrated implementation covering all goals and respective targets, with a 2030 timeline to guide the EU and its member states in their national implementation, and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda, including all areas of internal and external policy development and action.Urges the Commission to elaborate, by mid 2018, an implementation strategy outling timeline, objectives and concrete measures, in all relevant internal and external policies.
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Request the European Commission to further develop its current mapping of EU policies into a comprehensive and in-depth gap analysis, with associated actions, based on a transparent and inclusive process. The gap analysis should identify the shortcomings in existing EU policy frameworks, and the critical interlinkages and potential incoherence between policies. It should thus be a forward-looking exercise that proposes more concrete steps to be taken to address these issues and ensure policy coherence to support the overall EU Sustainable Development Strategy.Calls on the EC to identify existing gaps by mid-2018 in all relevant policies areas in order to assess what more needs to be done on policy, legislation, governance structure for horizontal coherence and means of implementation
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Call for a clear plan of implementation to accompany the overarching strategy in order to ensure that it actually delivers on its objectives. Until a new EU Sustainable Development Strategy is adopted, existing policy coordination mechanisms, such as the European Semester and others can already be employed to a greater extent for integrating all aspects of SDG implementation and guide the member states in SDG implementation.EC & MS to ensure inter-linkages, coherence and consistency between the different policy sectors by making use of existing mechanisms, such us the regulatory score board, and adjusting them for requirements of sustainability

calls the EC to carry out regular monitoring, including where relevant in the context of the European Semester
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Recognise the limits of GDP as a measure of overall progress and agree and adopt a common and ambitious set of European progress indicators covering social, economic, environmental, and governance factors, which should be used to guide and act as a dashboard for all EU and member state decision-making.Calls on the EC to develop a reference indicator framework accompanied by a qualitative assessment

calls on EC & MS to use it to inform decision-making

Recalls that A2030 needs data covering the 3 dimensions of sustainable development
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Policy Coherence
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Ensure that the overarching EU Sustainable Development Strategy and implementation plan addresses the four dimensions of Sustainable Development equally (social, economic, environmental and governance). Ensure the Strategy applies a “whole of government” method to overcome the ‘silo’ or unintegrated approach to policy development and implementation. Ensure coherence with the perspective of culture as a transversal element of sustainable development.Commitment to implement A2030 in a full, coherent, comprehensive, integrated and effective manner

Stresses that sustainability challenges are interdependent and can only be tackled by addressing interlinkages of the SDGs factoring the 3 dimensions of sustainable development at all levels

Calls on the EC to identify existing gaps in governance structure for horizontal coherence
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Commit to strengthening policy coherence for sustainable development (PCSD) at all levels and in all policy areas where the implementation of the 2030 Agenda is concerned and request the Commission to propose new mechanisms to ensure adequate and regular impact assessments and transparent arbitration in the event of divergences between different policies of the Union. The EU and its member states should ensure that no European policy undermines other countries’ abilities to achieve sustainable development or to realise people’s human rights.Underlines the fundamental importance of PCSD

Calls on the EC to conduct impact assessments to mainstream A2030/SDGs and define a clear process for consideration of the SDGs and their integration in post-2020 policies
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Introduce European legislation that would oblige companies to mandatory Human Rights due diligence to ensure that they identify, prevent, mitigate and account for adverse human rights and environmental impacts. The EU should also introduce measures that would allow and ease access to European courts for victims of human rights abuses by EU based companies. The EU and its member states need to contribute constructively to the initiative to establish a UN Treaty on business and human rights with the aim to ensure maximum rights for victims of human rights abuses.Need for the private sector to adopt responsible business conduct, OECD Guidelines and UN Principles B&HR

Recalls Council Conclusions on global value chains, business and HR
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Aiming at equality between men and women of all generations, commit to leaving no one behind and prioritising the most marginalised (including but not limited to children, youth, persons with disabilities, people living with HIV, older persons, Roma, indigenous peoples, refugees, homeless people, internally displaced persons, and migrants) by providing the leadership needed in its application of legally binding agreements and human rights conventions, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, CEDAW and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.Stresses commitment to leave no one behind and seeking to reach the furthest behind first

Underlines that greater effort is needed with special attention to those who are disadvantaged, vulnerable and in marginalised situations including children, older persons, persons with disabilities and LGBTI persons

Underlines gender equality at the core of EU values: empowerment of women and children and the full realisation of their HR and fundamental freedoms are vital for SDGs

Commitment to implement responsive and transformative policies as a key contribution to achieving SDGs
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Multi Stakeholder Engagement
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Commit to supporting the operationalisation of an inclusive, multi-stakeholder approach to implementation as set out by the 2030 Agenda. The democratic deficit that has characterised European politics over many decades could benefit from the involvement and inclusion of diverse citizen-led stakeholder groups in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda as a basis for a new Europe.The EU and MS are committed to implementing A2030 ina full, coherent, comprehensive and effective manner and in close cooperation with partners and other stakeholders, including sub-national govs, CSOs, private sector, social partners and academia

Recalls sgared responsibility of all stakeholders to implement A2030: national and subnational govs, public administrations, private sector, social partners, academia and CSOs

Underlines need to raise levels of public engagement to address SDGs at all levels

Underlines the role of EU policy for the emergence of exemplary projects and for their replication and up-scaling through multi-stakeholder involvement
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Call for the commitment in the Communication to establish a Multi Stakeholder Platform on Sustainable Development to be acted upon promptly by the Commission. Ensure that this platform is given a mandate to advise upon, and to monitor the EU’s implementation of its commitments as set out in the 2030 Agenda, and to provide its recommendations to the highest level of EU institutions.Welcomes the establishment of an inclusive Multi-Stakeholder platform

Stresses that the platform should enable all stakeholders to contribute with best practices, policy recommendations, ideas and innovative potential to the EU's SDG implementation approach
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Call on the Commission to recognise the critical role of active citizenship and global citizen education to achieve sustainable development. Support wide-ranging public awareness campaigns on the 2030 Agenda across the EU in order to educate, build capacity, and engage people of all ages, including the most marginalised, to encourage cross sectoral support for the Sustainable Development Goals and their implementation.Underlines need to raise awareness of EU citizens and to raise public engagement and responsibility and political leadership in addressing SDGs at all levels, thus contributing to global citizenship

Calls on EC to carry out communication and awareness raising activities

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Robust Monitoring and Accountability
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Establish robust monitoring, accountability and review frameworks at EU and member state levels, based on the collection of quality, accessible, timely and reliable disaggregated data and using both quantitative and qualitative indicators.MS commitment to conduct regular and inclusive progress reviews at the national and sub-national levels, where relevant, in a participatory manner

Importance of a robust, systematic, effective, participatory, transparent and integrated fllow-up and review of the SDG implementation to track progress, assess achievements and ensure accountability

Recalls that A2030 needs quality, accesible, timely and reliable disaggregated data

Calls for detailed regular monitoring of SDGs at EU level and to develop a reference indicator framework accompanied by qualitative assessment
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Agree and set a date for the EU to report to regional and global 2030 Agenda accountability mechanisms established by the UN - including the UNECE Regional Review mechanism and the High-level-Political Forum (HLPF) – before the end of this Commission’s mandate, demonstrating that the EU is serious about implementing the 2030 Agenda and willing to submit itself to external scrutiny and review.Invites the EC to prepare for the first EU report on internal and external implementation at the HLPF 2019
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Financing
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Call on the Commission to ensure that the next Multiannual Financial Framework promotes sustainable development priorities throughout the EU budget and that the four dimensions of sustainable development – social, economic, environmental and governance - are all addressed in a comprehensive manner through sustainability proofing, with no one dimension outweighing another in importance or in funding.Calls on the EC to assess how the programmes and instruments within the new MFF can support the implementation of A2030

Calls on EC to define a clear process for consideration of the SDGs for their integration in post-2020 policies

Encourages the EC to integrate SDGs in the discussions on the future of the EU
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Ensure that current financing instruments and financing commitments (including ODA) are being met and are in support of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.EU and MS will mobilise and make effective use of all means of implementation, including domestic and international public finance, effective use of ODA

Stresses the importance of ODA for LDCs
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Call on the Commission to also explore all possible options for generating innovative and additional sources of public finance, including carbon and environmental taxes, a financial transaction tax, and to adopt and strengthen measures to fight tax havens, tax dodging and promote fair taxation, in order to mobilise the resources necessary, to allow the Commission and member states to meet their 2030 commitments.Underlines that an effective combination of resources (financial and non-financial, domestic and international, public and private) will be needed

EU and MS will mobilise and make effective use of all means of implementation, including domestic and international public finance, effective use of ODA
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While reaching the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals will need all stakeholders, including the private sector on board, there should be clearer recognition of the strengths and limitations of each actor. The Council should recognise that the private sector has in many cases been responsible for excessive resource waste, pollution and human rights abuses, and adequate safeguards, accountability mechanisms and redress mechanisms are needed to ensure that the private sector plays a positive role in the 2030 Agenda.Need for the private sector to adopt responsible business conduct, OECD Guidelines and UN Principles B&HR

Recalls Council Conclusions on global value chains, business and HR

Stresses that supported sustainable development investments must be in line with the desired transition towards a sustainable, environmentally sound and inclusive economy, and not at the expense of our climate, the environment or human rights
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