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For EU-CORD, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an important framework to achieve our objective to live out and advocate for social, economic and environment justice. We have therefore joined SDG Watch Europe, a civil society coalition that wants to hold the European Union institutions and the EU Member States to account on SDG implementation.

Compared to the previous UN agenda, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the SDGs are supposed to be truly transformative. They do not only merge the formerly rather separate conversations about development, sustainability, peace and human rights. They are also universal in their nature. All countries, all regions of the world, are called to contribute to the achievement of all 17 goals and to tackle challenges like inequality, to ensure gender equality, to provide quality education or to establish sustainable consumption and production patterns.

A civil society coalition that wants to hold governments and EU institutions to account must reflect that new reality. SDG Watch is not only a platform of development organisations. It is also supported by environmental, human rights, cultural and social organisations – a number of them focusing only on what is actually happening within Europe.

Currently, SDG Watch is urging the European Union to come up with an ambitious and integrated SDG implementation plan. There is a long way to go. The first proposal of the European Commission is not bad in all its aspects, but it gives the impression that a little more of „business as usual“ is enough to let the SDGs become a reality. The EU seems to be afraid to respond to a transformational agenda with transformational policies. And it seems to be taking longer than expected for the EU to understand that the SDGs are not a development agenda only. During its first General Assembly in early February, SDG Watch has done a good job in bringing together Members of the European Parliament and from other EU institutions who are following very different political areas, among them international trade, employment, culture & education, agriculture, and, of course, international development. This is an important first step towards „breaking the silos“ what so many experts and decision-makers request these days when it comes to sustainable development or other universal issues like migration and disability inclusion.

As EU-CORD, we believe that being part of SDG Watch Europe is a good opportunity to bring in our own mandate for working in international development and humanitarian action and the role that faith-based organisations can play,  while keeping in mind the bigger picture and building partnerships with actors from other sectors of civil society. We believe that working in these new coalitions is the only way to „leave no one behind“, one of the main principles the SDGs stand for.

For out more about SDG Watch Europe here:

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