As the EU prepares to publish its European Voluntary Review of the SDGs (EUVR), representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs) from a broad range of sectors across Europe came together to assess Europe’s SDG progress by contributing to the finalisation of a civil society spotlight report.
More than 40 civil society organisations from across Europe with an interest in sustainability, a socially Just Transition, climate, and environmental action gathered online for the fourth edition of the “Civil Society Forum for Sustainability: Shaping the European Green Deal” on the 3rd and 4th of May 2023, for two half-days of lively debate and discussion.
Organised by the REAL DEAL project, the Civil Society Forum is a space for CSOs and other stakeholders from across Europe to come together and exchange views on the European Green Deal (EGD), the EU's strategy to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050. The forum is co-organised by SDG Watch Europe, SOLIDAR, and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), alongside REAL DEAL project partners.
The fourth edition of the forum brought representatives of civil society organisations together to continue to deliberate on the topic of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to build on the results of the third Civil Society Forum meeting held in January. The main objective of the meeting was to develop and finalise a joint civil society spotlight report on the EUVR, in an interactive discussion during breakout sessions. The Forum aimed to provide an opportunity for civil society representatives to bring their voices and reflect their views on SDGs and their important role in monitoring the implementation of the SDGS in Europe to EU level policymaker(s).
During the forum, prominent speakers from the European Commission’s Secretariat General and civil society organisations shared their experiences with forum members and interactive discussions took place in smaller working groups on the 5 pillars of the SDG. Through these exchanges, the Forum aims to finalise the civil society spotlight report in the upcoming weeks, that can contribute to ensuring strong and meaningful participation in SDG monitoring and socially just Green Deal policymaking.
Lucian Pavulescu, Policy Officer within the Secretariat General of the European Commission, underlined that the SDGS can only be achieved by engaging and having civil society together with all stakeholders on board.
Hanna Gunnarsson from Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF) highlighted the importance of engagement of organised Civil Society at the UN Level networks and processes to advocate for change, by noting ‘’ Civil Society is stronger, if we come together and join efforts.’’
Julie Rosenkilde, member of the SDG Watch Europe Steering Group, shared important advocacy opportunities at EU Level and noted civil society organisations’ strong commitment at local, national and EU levels are important for using the CSO Spotlight Report for their advocacy efforts.
The Forum will gather three times in the second year of the REAL DEAL project. The next meeting of the Forum will focus on the future if the European Green Deal (or EGD 2.0) and will take place on the 26th and 27th of June 2023. Citizens and civil society organisations who wish to participate can register here.
Further information about the next forum meeting will soon be available on the REAL DEAL website.