EU response to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – a sustainable European future

Council of the EU
  • 20/06/2017
  • 11:15
  • Press release
  • 389/17
  • Foreign affairs & international relations
  • Environment
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The EU has played a leading role in the process that led to the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015. It is now determined to take the lead in its implementation. 

The  conclusions adopted by the Council today reiterate the strong commitment of the EU and its member states to  implement in full the 2030 Agenda and accomplish the 17 SDGs. The conclusions set out the EU's response to the 2030 Agenda and its approach to how it is implemented at EU level. They cover next steps, the means and resources required, how multilateral stakeholders can be involved, and measures on future monitoring and review. 

The conclusions underline the importance of achieving sustainable development across  the three dimensions (economic, social and environmental), in a balanced and integrated way. It is vital that  sustainable development is mainstreamed into all policy areas, and that the EU is ambitious in the policies it uses to address global challenges. 

The Council calls on the Commission to set out by mid-2018 an implementation strategy with timelines, objectives and concrete measures to implement the 2030 Agenda in all EU policies. The Commission should also identify by mid-2018 gaps where the EU needs to do more by 2030 in the areas of policy, legislation,  governance structures for horizontal coherence and implementation. 

The EU calls on other UN member states and all stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector, to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. 

More needs to be done to promote  the 2030 Agenda. In its conclusions the Council emphasises the lack of public engagement and calls for action to raise awareness among EU citizens. 


The conclusions are based on the recent Commission communication on the 'next steps for a sustainable European future' presented in November 2016, which links the sustainable development of the 2030 Agenda to the EU policy framework and the Commission's priorities. It provides an insight into where the EU stands on addressing the sustainable development goals and identifies the most relevant sustainability gaps and concerns. 

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 'Transforming our World' was adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit (New York, 25-27 September 2015). It includes a set of global sustainable development goals that replaced the millennium development goals as from 1 January 2016. 

The 2030 Agenda responds to global challenges by addressing poverty eradication and the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in a comprehensive way. The 17 new sustainable development goals and the 169 associated targets cover key areas such as poverty, human rights, food security, health, sustainable consumption and production, growth, employment, infrastructure, sustainable management of natural resources, oceans, climate change and gender equality.