Europe should lead in taking sustainable actions that ‘secure our planet for all people’, Frans Timmermans, First VP of the European Commission has said.

Talking at the launch of the Commission’s latest paper communicating its commitment to delivering on the UN Sustainable Goals by 2030, Timmermans said “sustainable development starts and ends with people, it is about making our economy and society sustainable and prosperous at the same time”.

Building on President Juncker’s 2017 State of the Union Address, the new reflection paper on a more sustainable Europe by 2030, presents illustrative scenarios for the future in a bid to inspire dialogue on how the 17 Goals can be achieved, and where the EU can play its part. The Paper looks at ‘key policy foundations’ that will be key to accelerating the sustainability transition, such as the move from a linear to circular economy, righting the wrongs of food systems and ensuring ‘no one and no place’ are left behind.

“Sustainability is part of Europe’s DNA. It is about making sure that future generations will have the same or better opportunities than us, whilst respecting the limited resources of our planet. The Investment Plan for Europe helps by bringing the private sector on board and the Action Plan for Sustainable Finance facilitates creating a new market for sustainable investments. By modernising our societies in an inclusive manner, fully embracing circular economy and reaping the benefits of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, we can strive for climate neutrality and ensure our planet is in a better shape for our children,” said Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness.

Three scenarios are put forward in the paper to trigger a debate on ‘how to follow up on the Sustainable Development Goals within the EU’. These are:

  1. An overarching EU SDGs strategy guiding the actions of the EU and its Member States;
  2. A continued mainstreaming of the SDGs in all relevant EU policies by the Commission, but not enforcing Member States’ action;
  3. An enhanced focus on external action while consolidating current sustainability ambition at EU level.

Check out the factsheet Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030 and get inspired to be part of a collaborative movement working for a better Europe, and world.