2018 EUROSTAT Monitoring Report highlights mixed progress on SDGs

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On 18 September, EUROSTAT issued the 2018 version of “Sustainable Development in the European Union“, its monitoring report on progress towards the SDGs in an EU context. The Report is complemented by a range of additional materials, including a short brochure providing a visual summary of the Report’s findings, the “SDGs & Me” digital publication, a series of Statistics Explained articles on individual SDGs, and a revamped EUROSTAT’s website section dedicated to the Goals.

The 2018 Report highlights significant progress on Goal 3 (“Good Health & Well-being”, Goal 4 (“Quality Education”) and Goal 7 (“Affordable and Clean Energy”), as well as moderate progress for eight additional goals. However, the Report also underscores a worrying shift away from a sustainable development trajectory for Goal 10 (“Reduced inequalities”), owing to the ongoing rise of income inequality within EU member states.  Moreover, EUROSTAT continues to be unable to track trends for Goal 6 (“Clean Water and Sanitation”), Goal 13 (“Climate Action”), Goal 14 (“Life Below Water”) and Goal 16 (“Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”), due to the conspicuous absence of reliable data over the past five years. Lastly, broad progress on a Goal is in some cases hiding insufficient progress, or even negative developments, for specific areas within that Goal.

Overall, the EUROSTAT Report follows the evidence presented in July by the 2018 SDG Index & Dashboards Report of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), suggesting that the EU is not on track to meet all 17 SDGs by 2030 and that the level of ambition should be raised on the part of both EU member states and European institutions.

 

ASviS hosts high-level event on SDGs, Climate Change and the Future of Europe

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On May 31st, ASviS (the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development) will host a high-level international event on “SDGs, Climate Change and the Future of Europe” as part of the 2018 edition of the Italian Festival of Sustainable Development (#FestivalSviluppoSostenibile).

The event, which will take place at UniCredit Pavilion in Milan, is organized in collaboration with several other EU civil society actors. Thanks to the participation of  leading EU practitioners and policymakers, it will seek to explore the future of the European Union and its role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, at the crossroads of the Union’s traditional stance as a “sustainable development champion” and the risks of new isolationist tendencies.

  • You can watch the livestream here or on the Facebook page of ASviS, at this link.
  • To read more about the event, it is also possible to visit the dedicated page on ASviS’s website here.
  • To read the full calendar of events for the #FestivalSviluppoSostenibile, click here.

3 May 2018: Keynote Lecture with Joanne Scott on Sustainable Consumption and EU Responsibilities

Joanne-Scott-2.-BWThe EULawSD staff is honored to announce that on 3 May 2018 it will co-host Prof. Joanne Scott, Co-Director of the Academy of European Law of the European University Institute, for a keynote lecture on “Sustainable Consumption: The Geographical Scope of the EU’s Environmental Responsibilities“.

The lecture, which will address critical aspects of the responsibility of the EU in implementing Sustainable Development Goal 12 on responsible consumption and production, will take place in the Aula Magna Storica of the University of Siena’s rectorate building (Banchi di Sotto 55, 53100 Siena, Italy) at 10.00am.

The lecture is co-organized with Europe Direct Siena and takes place in the context of Europe Direct’s ‘Lezioni d’Europa‘. Prof. Francesco Francioni (Emeritus Professor, EUI), Prof. Massimiliano Montini (UNISI’s Director of Europe Direct), and Prof. Riccardo Pavoni (EULawSD Academic Coordinator) will engage in a discussion with Prof Scott following her lecture. The floor will then be open to questions from the academic and wider Siena community which will be present at the event.

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Prof. Joanne Scott has been appointed as Professor of European Law at the EUI from 1 April 2017. She is on special leave from the Faculty of Laws, University College London (UCL) where she has taught from 2005. Joanne taught previously at the Universities of Kent, Queen Mary and Cambridge and has been a visiting professor at Columbia and Harvard Law Schools. She was a Jean Monnet Fellow at the EUI in 1997/98. Joanne was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy in 2013 and as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2012.

Joanne has research interests in the areas of environmental law and climate change law. She has been exploring the theme of EU extraterritoriality in her recent work following the award of a Major Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust (2012-2014). Joanne also has research interests in new modes of EU governance and in the relationships between different legal orders.

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The keynote lectures of the EULawSD Module are public events aimed at exposing the course participants to a leading figure (scholar, expert or practitioner) in EU law and sustainable development, which touch on the most relevant issues and challenges in the field while also focusing on key themes that will be different each year. The 2-hour lectures seek to raise awareness among the general public about the importance of the EU in realizing the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

1 March 2018: EULawSD Webinar with Guido Schmidt-Traub

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On 1 March 2018 (11.30am CET), the Jean Monnet Module on European Union Law and Sustainable Development (EULawSD), in collaboration with the University of Siena, will host the first session of its EULawSD Webinar Series 2018 on YouTube.

The EULawSD Webinar Series complements the teaching activities of the EULawSD Jean Monnet Module, which is coordinated by Prof. Riccardo Pavoni (Department of Law, University of Siena) and co-funded by the European Commission for the period 2017-2020. Each webinar is aimed at fostering a lively public debate on the role of the European Union as a key actor in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and offers all interested citizens the opportunity to engage with leading experts and practitioners in the fields of European Union law and governance, sustainability science, international economics, and many more.

EULawSD’s first guest will be Dr. Guido Schmidt-Traub, Executive Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).  One of the world’s leading experts on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda, Dr. Schmidt-Traub will discuss the current trends and scenarios for their implementation in the European context, the challenges of financing and monitoring of progress, and the role that the European Union can play in the achieving sustainable development in third countries.

The webinar will be visible live on EULawSD’s YouTube channel, and will be recorded at this link for future viewing. Set a reminder!

  • Where? On EULawSD’s Youtube Channel: “EU Law and Sustainable Development” or just below on this page!
  • When? Thursday, 1 March 2018, 11.30 – 12.30 CET
  • More info: eulawsd@unisi.it
  • FB Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1610786645681932/

The webinar will be held in English and is open to all internet users, without registration.

Announcement of PRIMA Calls for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area

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On 29 January, the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA) announced the launch of its two calls for proposals for 2018 with a public event hosted by the University of Siena, to which the EULawSD team has participated with its academic coordinator, Prof. Riccardo Pavoni.

The PRIMA initiative was officially established pursuant to Decision 2017/1324 of the European Parliament and of the Council entered into force on 7 August 2017, and consists of 15 participating States from both the EU and neighboring countries, including Algeria, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Tunisia (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco are also expected to join PRIMA). Its aim is to build research and innovation capacities among the participating countries, as well as to develop knowledge and common solutions for agro-food systems and water provision in the Mediterranean area, in order to make to make them sustainable, in line with the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For 2018, PRIMA calls will be divided into 2 Section, both starting on 8 February. Section 1 (submission deadline: 17 February) will cover three topics: (i) water use and water desalination for agricultural and food production; (ii) improving the sustainability of Mediterranean agro-ecosystems; and (iii) implementing innovation in Mediterranean agro-food chains by smallholders and SMEs. Section 2 (deadline: 27 March) will instead include nine additional topics, consistent with the three PRIMA thematic areas (integrated and sustainable management of water for arid and semi-arid Mediterranean areas; sustainable farming systems under Mediterranean environmental constraints; and sustainable Mediterranean agro-food value chain for regional and local development).

The calls will be open to the Euro-Mediterranean scientific communities, stakeholders and private entities (in this last case, through joint research consortia with public research organizations, universities and end users). Section 1 actions and activities will be organized, managed and funded by the PRIMA Foundation, whereas Section 2 activities will be organized by the PRIMA Foundation and funded by the national funding bodies of participating States.

For more information, read PRIMA’s official announcement here or visit PRIMA’s website at http://www.prima4med.org.

EULawSD at Kick-off Meeting for New Jean Monnet Beneficiaries

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On 27-28 November, Prof. Riccardo Pavoni, in his quality of academic coordinator of the EULawSD module, will participate in Brussels in the kick-off meeting of new beneficiaries of Jean Monnet Activities (co-organised by EACEA).

The meeting will be organized together with the 2017 edition of the Jean Monnet biennial Conference (BiCo). This year’s edition will be devoted to the current major political turning point in EU history and its consequences for the future of the European integration. This theme has been very high on the agenda of political and academic debates recently and is about to gain even more relevance in the light of the Commission’s White Paper, the speech on the state of the union by president Juncker and also major political developments in EU member states in the course of 2017.

As a consequence, the conference objective is to allow debate on important EU-policy issues but also to disseminate information on more technical issues for the new grant holders.

For more information about the work programme, you can visit the event’s page at https://ec.europa.eu/education/events/2017-jean-monnet-bico_en.

New Keynote Lecture: Prof. Antonio Tanca on EU Crisis Management Policy

atancaWe are honoured to announce that we have managed to co-organize, in conjunction with the Chair of International Law of the University of Siena’s Department of Law (DGIUR), a further EULawSD keynote lecture on Thursday 16 November at 15:00 CET.

Prof. Antonio Tanca, former Head of Unit of the Council of the EU, will speak about “The EU Crisis Management Policy: Institutional Aspects and Main Missions and Operations“. The external action of the EU involving crisis management raises important sustainable development issues, such as the EU responsiveness to the humanitarian needs of developing countries, the EU capacity to address climate emergencies and natural disasters, and the EU contribution to the restoration of the rule of law in post-conflict societies. With March 2017’s Rome Declaration, the EU Member States have emphasized the need for the Union to play a more decisive global role in confronting situations of crisis and vulnerability, some of which have a direct bearing on  European neighborhood countries or exercise pressure on the EU external borders.

In the context of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, adopted in March 2015 as the first major agreement of the post-2015 development framework of the United Nations, the EU external action on crisis management and disaster risk reduction also constitutes a key instrument for achieving the goals enshrined in the 2030 Agenda. The lecture thus represents a timely and valuable addition to the EULawSD module, and will be open to the public.

Publication of ASviS Report 2017

On September 28th, the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS) launched its 2017 Report on “Italy and the Sustainable Development Goals” during a meeting at the Italian Chamber of Deputies.

img_rapporto_asvis2017The Report has three main components. First, it presents an assessment of Italy’s progress in the implementation of the SDGs. Second, it details a list of concrete proposals for the Italian government to consider in the next budget law and in subsequent policy developments. Finally, it proposes an innovative analytical model to forecast possible pathways for sustainable development in Italy based on a series of different policy scenarios to 2030.

With respect to the role of the EU, the 2017 Report argues that after its decisive contribution to the negotiation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the European Union has not moved fast enough to enshrine the SDGs in its own analytical and political processes. ASViS emphasizes that the implementation of the Agenda represents a major opportunity for anchoring the European vision to the challenges of the 21st century, and should be at the center of both the revision of the Europe 2020 Strategy and the political debate around the 2019 European Parliament’s elections. From this perspective, the Parliament and Council’s responses to the European Commission’s Communication on a new European Action for Sustainability signal the need for a change of pace, and accordingly invite the Commission itself to develop a coherent strategy, a clear timeline and a global gap analysis that can support bolder ambitions towards the achievement of the Goals.

During the event, ASviS (a network of over 170 institutions and civil society organizations working to promote the implementation of the SDGs in Italy) also presented the new ASviS open-access database, which includes information on more than 170 SDG indicators and allows for easy data visualization and comparison across different time spans and spatial scales.

Download the Report (Pdf)
Synthesis
Executive Summary (Italiano)
Executive Summary (English)
Learn more about the ASviS Database
Learn more about the SDG Indicators