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Making sustainable development the political priority for the EU’s new political leadership

28th February 2019 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm GMT

How to prepare in this year of transition?

Panel debate 10:00 – 12:30 @ EEB (Tweekerkenstraat 14-16, Brussels)

Please register by 25 February by emailing to sdgwatcheurope@gmail.com

In 2019, a new European Parliament will be elected, and the political leadership of the EU will change. This year of transition provides opportunities to reshape the overall narrative of the EU and to finally give sustainable development the political weight it should have been given already. It is not inevitable that the next Commission will make sustainable development its top priority? What needs to be done to ensure that this happens?

Civil society knows: another Europe is possible! While recognizing the challenge we are currently facing in the EU, civil society is engaging in the discussion of what kind of Europe we want. We share core values in our joint strive for sustainable development: democracy and transparency, social and environmental justice, human rights, the rule of law, equality, and solidarity. Those values must be at the heart of all policies and this means fundamental changes from today. To challenge the future political leaders of the EU, SDG Watch Europe and a wide network of civil society have put forward a “Manifesto for a Sustainable Europe for Its Citizens”.

On the morning of its General Assembly, SDG Watch Europe invites its members to discuss with selected institutional stakeholders in what way together we can ensure the next Commission will deliver on the 2030 Agenda and explore how different stakeholders can support civil society’s call for the ambitious implementation of the SDGs. The discussions will look into a stronger role for the new European Parliament on how to step up its watchdog function. The role of Member States will be explored – especially that of progressive Governments – and the likely impact of the Finnish EU Presidency, the first presidency to follow the appointment of the new Commission. Furthermore, we will discuss ideas of the EESC to encourage the Commission to be more ambitious as well as the role of civil society in increasing the pressure, including within (but not limited to) the Multi-Stakeholder Platform on the SDGs.


  • Cristina Gallach, High Commissioner for Agenda 2030, Government of Spain
  • Annika Lindblom, Counsellor for International Affairs at the Finnish Environment Ministry and Secretary-General of the Prime Minister led multi-stakeholder National Commission on Sustainable Development
  • Peter Schmidt, President of the European Economic Social Committee’s Sustainable Development Observatory
  • Eleni Theocharous, MEP, rapporteur Annual strategic report on the implementation and delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals (TBC)
  • Elly Schlein, MEP (TBC)
  • Heidi Hautala, MEP, Vice-President (TBC)
  • Patrizia Heidegger, Steering Group of SDG Watch Europe / Director Global Policies and Sustainability with the European Environmental Bureau
  • Tanya Cox, Executive Director, CONCORD


28th February 2019
10:00 am - 12:30 pm






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