12th meeting of the Extended Leadership Council of SDSN Germany
On 29 September 2020, the Extended Leadership Council of SDSN Germany discussed the question What is Germany doing with “Next Generation EU“? via video conference. The conference hosted more than 50 participants, among them members of the Extended Leadership Council, member and partner organisations of SDSN Germany, representatives of the German Parliament (Bundestag), the federal government and the European Commission.
In response to the COVID19 pandemic and its consequences, the EU Heads of State and Governments adopted the “Next Generation EU” (NGEU, 2021-2023) development plan at the European Council from 17 to 21 July 2020. Together with the multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 (MFF), NGEU aims to reshape the EU through its main political strategies, in particular the European Green Deal, the digital revolution and resilience. Whether this succeeds and thus a significant contribution can be made to achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement will depend largely on the political course set in the next few months.
Aligning the European Recovery Plan and the European Semester with the SDGs: The role of knowledge institutions
The European Council and the European Commission have recognised the dramatic consequences of the pandemic. To address them, they have agreed on a Recovery Plan leading the way out of the crisis and laying foundations for a modern and more sustainable Europe. However, this effort will only be effective in the medium and long term if it promotes a transformation aligned with the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development with its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed by all EU and world leaders in 2015 at the United Nations. This is underlined in the new Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy for 2021. Still, the guidelines for countries to prepare their Recovery and Resilience Plans have yet to explicitly operationalise the SDGs as a key benchmark and link to the reformed European Semester.
Eloise Bodin (Institute for European Environmental Policy), Estelle Goeger (EU Commission), and Jorge Nunez Ferrer (Centre for European Policy Studies) provided inputs followed by reactions from SDSN networks.
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Participation at the Sustainability Forum 2020
At the invitation of the German Federal Chancellery, the Sustainability Forum 2020 took place on 15 October 2020. During the forum, more than 100 participants from politics, business and civil society discussed the dialogue version of the German National Sustainability Strategy. SDSN Germany took part in the discussion, giving a short speech about its position. The statements of SDSN Germany on the German Sustainability Strategy received a mostly positive response. Federal Minister Dr. Helge Braun opened the Sustainability Forum and initially led the debate. The Federal Chancellery takes note of the contributions and will finalize the sustainability strategy by early next year.