EU Voluntary Review on SDG

Governance: Strengths and weaknesses of the current EU Governance to achieve the SDGs

Despite the efforts of the EU on engagement of civil society, private sector and other stakeholders, the inclusion of local initiatives and small businesses, their contribution to SDG, and the views of the people they represent remain unheard. 

Available channels to take part in contributing or reporting SDG activities resemble an exclusive club for large organizations. For instance, the EU Multi-stakeholder platform on SDGs does not include members from local NGOs. 

Partly, because the calls and campaigns do not reach the community organizations and NGOs on time or at all. Partly, because the process to be heard and included into EU decision-making on SDG presents many hurdles and gates for small, especially youth-led, social groups. 

Overarching Strategy: Does the EU need an SDGs overarching strategy? How could this relate to the European Green Deal?

The EU strategy on SDGs has to focus on the inclusion of individuals and community organizations and their SDG contribution, as much as it does on large businesses and governmental agencies. 

Instead of introducing taxes for individuals depending on the CO2 footprint of their purchasing choices (NL), we need to provide positive encouragement for them to report what each citizen is already doing for SDGs.

For ex., create a simple mechanism (public online form) whereby independent individuals, students, small businesses, and other social groups have a way to voluntarily report their efforts on SDG implementation to the EU on an ongoing basis. Award the contributors with written recognition that they can share with friends and colleagues. 

Next steps: The European Commission will present its voluntary review in July 2023. Which actions does your organisation foresee on the SDGs and the EU voluntary review between now and July 2023? Do you see possible synergies?

At Think Tank AlterContacts, we focus our efforts on giving voice to underrepresented social groups and enabling them to showcase their contribution to SDGs.

The key action we are working on is the SDG partnership “mOther Earth” (#SDGAction46967). Our objective is to revive and repopulate rural areas of the European Union by creating economic and educational opportunities. With the main goal to build a new type of rural sustainable self-sufficient settlements led by women and youth.  

We will be glad to join forces with the existing or planned EU programs to build towards the vision, as well as report the insights we collect from the rural population. 

You can read the full Report on the EESC Contribution to the EU-level Voluntary Review (VR) of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda here.