The COVID-19 crisis constitutes an unprecedented challenge for Europe and the world. While the pandemic is threatening progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) it has at the same time shown the importance for their effective and comprehensive implementation. The extent of this crisis increases even further the urgency of ending poverty, halting climate change and biodiversity loss, as well as other environmental degradation, and building more inclusive and prosperous societies. Now is therefore the time to renew and strengthen our commitment to the SDGs. The full implementation of the 2030 Agenda is crucial for guiding our path to recovery, strengthening resilience and preparing the world for future crises. Relaunching the economy does not mean going back to the status quo before the crisis, but taking forward the agenda of sustainability and resilience. The European Union is determined to do this with great ambition.
The European Union is already implementing deeply transformative policies such as the European Green Deal, which aims to transform the Union into a modern, resource-efficient, circular and competitive economy where climate and environmental challenges are addressed and turned into opportunities, while making the transition just and inclusive for all. The European Green Deal is the centerpiece of the EU economic strategy and post-COVID-19 recovery. Building back better by going green and digital is the way out of the Covid-19 crisis in Europe.
Beyond the short-term response to COVID-19, the European Union has put forward measures to stimulate smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs, supporting the green and digital transitions, including a major new financial instrument, Next GenerationEU of EUR 750 billion, dedicated to the recovery. It will help rebuild a post-COVID-19 Europe, which will be greener, more digital, more resilient and fit for the current and forthcoming challenges. The Recovery and Resilience Facility is the central pillar of the Next Generation EU. Both the 2021-2027 EU budget and Next GenerationEU, will have to include a minimum of 37% of expenditure related to climate and a minimum of 20% related to digital. In line with the systemic approach of the SDGs, all investments must respect the European Green Deal’s green pledge to ‘do no significant harm’ to the EU’s environmental and climate objectives.
The European Union is also driving the global effort to ‘build-back-better’ with the implementation of the SDGs at its core. Today more than ever the implementation of the 2030 Agenda requires effective multilateralism. The COVID-19 crisis has put partner countries in challenging situations with impacts affecting the entire SDG agenda. Addressing debt vulnerabilities and economic adaptability are two key building blocks for ensuring an inclusive and resilient recovery. To address this, the EU has proposed a Global Recovery Initiative linking investment and debt relief to the SDGs to secure a truly transformative, post-COVID-19 path. The external action of the EU and its Member States is explicitly geared towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda further to the 2017 European Consensus on Development. This approach is now taken forward by acting together as Team Europe to support our partner countries for a sustainable recovery.
The SDGs and the post-COVID recovery are the path for building a better world – strong, inclusive, sustainable and resilient.
The EU side-event will assess the challenges posed by the economic and social recovery that the European Union and the world are facing, notably the need to shift to a new growth model. This new paradigm will entail a reshaping of the relationship between the economy, the environment, and people’s needs. The event will also take stock of EU action in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, underscoring its whole of government approach, the global perspectives for recovery and the need for a strong global partnership, and look ahead to the opportunities and how to best address the many interconnected challenges of a sustainable recovery at all levels.
The side-event will last 90 minutes. It will consist of an opening segment, two high-level interactive panel discussions and a closing segment. The event will encourage discussion between the EU, partner country government representatives from various levels of government, the United Nations, civil society, the private sector and academia.
Organised by the European Commission and the Government of Slovenia