Sustainable Development Goals – Overview
What are the sustainable development goals (SDGs)?
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their related 169 targets, which are at the heart of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 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.
What is the EU answer to the SDGs?
Sustainable development objectives have been at the heart of European policy for a long time, firmly anchored in the European Treaties (Articles 3 (5) and 21 (2) of the Treaty on European Union) and mainstreamed in key cross-cutting projects, sectoral policies and initiatives. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the United Nations (UN) in September 2015, have given a new impetus to global efforts for achieving sustainable development. The EU, in coordination with its Member States, is committed to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and to strive towards a sustainable future for all. The EU's answer to the 2030 Agenda is outlined in the 22 November 2016 European Commission's Communication Next steps for a sustainable European future - European action for sustainability".
What is Eurostat's role?
Eurostat is called to regularly monitor progress towards the SDGs in an EU context. For this purpose it coordinated the development of the EU SDG indicator set and keeps it up to date. It also produces regular monitoring reports on progress towards the SDGs in an EU context.
How does Eurostat monitor progress towards the SDGs in the EU?
The Communication foresees regular monitoring of progress towards the SDGs in an EU context. The Eurostat publication 'Sustainable Development in the European Union – Monitoring report on progress towards the SDGs in an EU context -2018 edition ’ is the most recent of these regular monitoring exercises. It looks at the aspects of the SDGs that are relevant from an EU perspective and therefore does not aim at exhaustively assessing EU progress towards the 169 targets of the 2030 Agenda. It provides a first statistical assessment of trends in relation to the SDGs in the EU during the past five years ('short-term') and, whenever data availability allows, during the past 15 years ('long-term').
The indicator trends are described on the basis of specific quantitative rules. For indicators for which quantitative EU targets exist, the progress is analysed in relation to those targets. This applies to 17 out of the 100 indicators, mainly in the areas of climate, energy consumption, education, poverty and employment. All other indicators are analysed according to the direction and speed of change. The indicator trends are presented visually in the form of arrows. The methodology applied is explained in detail in the monitoring report.
The monitoring report builds on the EU SDG indicator set. The 99 indicators (41 of which are multipurpose, i.e. are used to monitor more than one SDG) have strong links with the above-mentioned Communication and the EU policy initiatives mentioned in the accompanying Commission Staff Working Document ‘Key European action supporting the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development’.
The EU SDG indicator set is open to annual reviews to incorporate indicators from new data sources and to take into account new EU policy priorities, including EU longer term visions beyond 2020. In preparation of the EU SDG monitoring report 2019, the indicator set was reviewed between October and December 2018 and a new indicator set was completed in January 2019. This report describes the process and presents the outcome of the review. The new EU SDG indicator set 2019 is implemented on Eurostat’s website in view of the release of the 2019 edition of the EU SDG monitoring report. The EU SDG indicator set 2019 as well as the previous EU SDG Indicator set 2018 and EU SDG Indicator set 2017 are also available as Excel file.
Have a look at our new innovative digital publication named ‘SDGs & me’ to explore and evaluate the situation of your country compared to others for a subset of the EU SDG indicators.
Our visualisation tool will give you a quick overview of the current progress towards each of the SDGs and its sub-goals on an EU level.
Dig deeper: choose the goals and indicators you are interested in and use our easy and user-friendly time graphs to compare your country to others.
Not much time? Have a look at the 2018 brochure which offers a concise and visual overview of the key findings of the 2018 EU SDG monitoring report.
Our publication provides a detailed description of the situation in the EU and its Member States, in relation to the 17 SDGs in an EU context.
The EU indicator set was reviewed between October and December 2018. Read the report on process and outcome of the review including the full list of 2019 EU SDG indicators.