Public Consultation on revising the European Consensus on Development launched

Today we have just launched an online public consultation on the future of EU development policy as part of our development policy response to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Please tell us what you think.  We want to hear your views.

The adoption in September 2015 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals at its core, marked a dramatic shift in the international community's approach to sustainable development and poverty eradication.  Along with the other international summits and conferences over last year (in Sendai, Addis Ababa and Paris) and recently at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul we now have a new frame for all countries to work together on shared challenges. 

The Commission's follow-up to the 2030 Agenda will be taken forward in a number of complementary ways: (1) through an initiative on the next steps for a sustainable European future which will map out the internal and external aspects of EU policies contributing to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals; (2) through a contribution to the EU's Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, shortly to be presented by the High Representative; and (3) also through a proposal for a revised European Consensus on Development. 

The current Consensus – a Joint statement by the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission – has since 2005 served very well in helping focus our efforts on achieving the Millennium Development Goals and focusing on the eradication of poverty in the context of sustainable development.  It sets out the common principles within which the EU and its Member States each implement their development policies in a spirit of complementarity.  The first part of the Consensus provides us with an important common strategic policy frame for the EU and its Member States, which collectively constitute the world's largest donor of Official Development Assistance.  The second part sets out a general framework for development policy at EU level, updated in 2011 with the adoption of the Agenda for Change.

In revising European development policy to reflect the development-related aspects of the 2030 Agenda and other important global agreements and trends, the Commission will make a proposal to replace the 2005 Consensus (and the Agenda for Change) with a new joint statement by all relevant EU actors.  This will be carried out in close coordination and full coherence with the preparatory work on a post-Cotonou framework.

We want to consult before coming forward with a proposal.  Unlike the Millennium Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda is universal and applies to all countries.  Implementation will require efforts from a wide range of actors acting in partnership: governments, including local authorities; parliaments; the private sector; civil society; academia and individual citizens.  Over the next months will hold discussions with the EU Member States and with the European Parliament, and reach out further – to all the constituencies who will be involved in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and who care about the future direction of EU development policy.

We want to hear from you. Our online public consultation will remain open for 12 weeks until 21 August 2016.  Your views will be important in helping to shape our deliberations and the revision of a new European Consensus on Development.  I look forward to your contributions.

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