Overview on Sustainable Development Goals Overview on Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable development has since long been at the heart of the European project and the EU Treaties give recognition to its economic, social and environmental dimensions that should be tackled together. It means that development must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. A life of dignity for all within the planet's limits and reconciling economic efficiency, social inclusion and environmental responsibility is at the essence of sustainable development and is reflected in the EU policy strategies.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their related targets, approved in September 2015 by the UN General Assembly, provide a new policy framework worldwide towards ending all forms of poverty, fighting inequalities and tackling climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind. All countries, developed and developing alike, have a shared responsibility to achieve the implementation of the SDGs.

On 22 November 2016 the European Commission issued a Communication on 'Next steps for a sustainable European future: European action for sustainability'. The Communication shows the significance of the SDGs for Europe and explains how the EU contributes to reaching them.

Together with the Communication, Eurostat released a publication titled 'Sustainable development in the European Union. A statistical glance from the viewpoint of the Sustainable Development goals', looking at where Europe and its Member States stand in view of the SDGs. This publication builds on Eurostat's long experience in monitoring the EU Sustainable Development Strategy (See section "Context" for more information on the EU SDS) through the Sustainable Development Indicator set.  This is an ad hoc publication presenting a limited number of indicators which are relevant for the EU, mainly from existing Eurostat's indicator sets such as the Europe 2020 indicators and the Sustainable Development Indicators used to monitor the EU SDS.

The Commission Communication 'Next steps for a sustainable European future: European action for sustainability' provides the new policy framework on sustainable development in the EU. It also announces a detailed regular monitoring of the SDGs in an EU context from 2017 onwards, and the development of a reference indicator framework for this purpose.

This EU SDG indicator set has been developed based on a broad and inclusive process and takes into account input provided by a large number and variety of actors, including other services of the European Commission, EU Member States, international bodies and civil society organisations. This EU SDG indicator set will be used to produce a first EU SDG monitoring report to be released in November 2017. The list of indicators is available  here. A  separate file describes the main characteristics of the EU SDG indicator set.

In the meantime, Eurostat will not produce new monitoring reports of the EU SDS (the last one published in 2015), and the Sustainable Development Indicator set is no longer updated (last update in May 2017).

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