The European Commission’s high-level multi-stakeholder platform on the follow up to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the EU met for the first time on Wednesday 10 January.
The multi-stakeholder platform on SDGs was set up last May to support and advise the European Commission and all stakeholders involved on the implementation of the SDGs at EU level, in relation to Commission events on sustainable development. Furthermore, the platform aims to help to prepare the selection process of an annual sustainability award and provide a forum for exchange of experience and best practice on the implementation of the SDGs across sectors and at local, regional, national and EU level.
Representatives from academia, non-governmental organisations, businesses, civil society, the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Committee of the Regions met for the first time at the eve of 2018 to support and advise the EU executive.
The platform members agreed at their first meeting to work on a joint contribution to the Commission’s Reflection Paper “Towards a sustainable Europe by 2030”, which was announced in the Commission’s 2018 Work Programme and will be adopted later this year.
FoodDrinkEurope, representative of Europe’s food and beverage industry, as part of the first meeting of the European Commission ‘s Multi-stakeholder Platform, shows the initiatives taken by the European food and beverage industry to reach the SDGs. Some of these goals are reducing the number of deaths and illnesses caused by hazardous chemicals and water pollution, reducing food waste and ending malnutrition. For example, the website shows which initiatives the food industry has taken on healthy living.
“We believe that the establishment of the Commission high-level multi-stakeholder platform on the implementation of the SDGs at European level, where FoodDrinkEurope is a member, is a positive example demonstrating this,” writes a FoodDrinkEurope statement.
EU Commission’s First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for Better Regulation, Interinstitutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, who chairs the platform, underlined the “need to work from the grassroots up and use the knowledge and skills of a wide range of stakeholders to reshape our economies and societies. The multi-stakeholder platform is an opportunity for experts to come together and learn from each other. I am looking forward to working closely together to develop the vision and the tools we need to succeed in delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, suggested that the experience that the platform members will bring, will assist the European Commission to deliver real results for a sustainable growth strategy post-2020.