Following today's publication of the European Commission’s Reflection Paper on "Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030", progressive cities and regions clearly opt for the most ambitious agenda for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Commenting on the proposal, Catiuscia Marini, President of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and President of the Umbria Region (Italy), said: "We very much welcome the Reflection Paper on sustainable development, presented by Commission Vice-President Timmermans as a stepping stone in the debate on the Future of Europe. Out of the three scenarios for the future presented, we put all our weight behind scenario 1 and its 'sustainability first' principle. Indeed, this scenario is the only one proposing an over-arching long-term economic model for the EU succeeding the Europe 2020 Strategy. It is also the only scenario allowing for a full involvement of cities and regions. Indeed, if we want Europe to succeed in the paradigm shift to become sustainable by 2030, the full involvement of local and regional governments is needed as they carry the responsibility for the attainment of 65% of the SDGs targets. Ending poverty and reducing inequalities, taking climate action, providing affordable and clean energy, and building sustainable cities and communities are among the key priorities that progressive local and regional authorities have already started implementing on the ground. We stand ready to take further commitments, including making the SDGs the guiding theme of the future EU cohesion policy!"
The PES Group in the CoR will mobilise on the local and regional dimension of the SDGs in the coming months. It will host together with the S&D Group in the European Parliament and its Progressive Society initiative an event on 7 February, between 14.30 and 18.30, at the European Parliament, with the participation of Udo Bullmann (President S&D Group), Georgios Kaminis (Mayor of Athens), Catiuscia Marini, among others, and a keynote speech by Professor Jeffrey Sachs. The event marks the launch of a pact among local and European progressive politicians “No one left behind nowhere in the EU”, to bring forward a renewed vision for cohesion policy built around the implementation of the SDGs. Full details of the programme and a registration form can be found here. On 5 April, the PES Group will hold a public event in Bremen to outline further action in relation to the implementation of social SDGs at local level.