EU agriculture and SDGs

The European Union’s (EU) agriculture and rural development policies form an important part of its positive contribution towards achieving the 2030 UN agenda for sustainable development.

At the core of the agenda are the sustainable development goals (SDGs), which are globally agreed objectives to be achieved by 2030.

Goal 2 sets the ambitious aim of eliminating hunger in the world. EU agriculture makes a two-fold contribution: the common agricultural policy guarantees the availability of safe, nutritious and sustainably produced food for all Europeans, and EU food exports contribute to food security in third countries, while granting developing regions extremely favourable terms of trade, thereby advancing the growth of their domestic agro-industries.

EU rural development and agricultural policy also furthers the aims of several other SDGs, including goals 1 (ending poverty), 8 (decent work and economic growth), 12 (responsible production and consumption) and 15 (life on land).

Africa-Europe alliance

The EU’s external policy actions always aim for coherence with the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, which is also reflected in recent initiatives such as the new Africa-Europe alliance for sustainable investment and jobs, announced in September 2018 by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in his state of the Union speech.

Tracking progress

The European Commission has several websites dedicated to the EU’s contribution to the sustainable development goals, most notably Eurostat’s SDG site tracking how the EU is doing via indicators, visual graphs and a detailed annual report.


The millennium declaration and millennium development goals (MDGs), which expired at the end of 2015, have made an enormous contribution in raising public awareness, increasing political will and mobilising resources for the fight to end poverty. One of the most important achievements of the period 2000-15 was the halving of global poverty. Acknowledging this success, the SDGs aim to extend and expand on goals and targets set in order to address the global challenges we face, and achieve a better and more sustainable future for us all.