Publication of ASviS Report 2018

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On October 4th, the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS) launched its 2018 Report on “Italy and the Sustainable Development Goals” during a public event hosted by the Chamber of Deputies of Italy.

The Report has four main components. First, it presents an update of the international efforts that are currently being promoted at the United Nations and European level in order to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Second, it assesses Italy’s progress towards the achievement of the SDGs, discussing the recent policies of the Italian government, the ongoing evolution of the legislative framework, and the wide range of initiatives proposed by civil society. Third, it focuses on the sub-national dimension of SDG implementation, suggesting the need to more effectively localise the Goals and analysing current progresses and challenges at the level of cities and regions. Lastly, it highlights ASviS’s proposals to accelerate Italy’s transition to a sustainable development trajectory through cross-sectoral and systemic actions.

With respect to the European Union, the Report introduces a set of composite indicators (first presented in July 2018) to collate data from EUROSTAT’s monitoring reports and more immediately illustrate the situation of SDG implementation in the EU. In doing so, the Report shows that moderate or significant progress across nine Goals has gone hand in hand with a worrying negative trend for Goal 15 (Life on Land) and Goal 10 (Reduced Inequalities), affecting the chances of the EU and its member states to achieve the 2030 Agenda in its entirety.

SDGs 15 and 10

Even more importantly, the Report suggests that European institutions have so far failed to accelerate the pace of change, in a wider context characterised by geopolitical insecurities and rising clashes between EU member states. According to ASviS, the periodic announcements of the European Commission have not yet translated into an expected EU-wide strategy for achieving the SDGs, despite positive developments including the newly-adopted European Pillar of Social Rights, the 2018 Circular Economy Package, and the actions taken to implement the recommendations of the High-level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance.

From this perspective, ASviS also recalls the resolution of the European Parliament of May 31st, which criticised the failure to effectively integrate the SDGs into existing proposals for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027). At the same time, however, the Report highlights the wide range of initiatives being undertaken by civil society organisations and businesses (including through the work of the Multi-stakeholder platform on SDGs), and notes the fundamental role that these actors can play in pushing the EU on the sustainable development trajectory required to implement the 2030 Agenda.

Read the ASviS Report (Italian)
Read ASviS’s Press Release (Italian)
Watch the launch event on Facebook

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.

Sustainable Development in the EU: 2017 monitoring report

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On 20 November, the Statistical Office of the European Union (EUROSTAT) published the 2017 edition of “Sustainable Development in the European Union“, its monitoring report on the state of the EU progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Report is the first to come out since the European Commission adopted its Communication (COM(2016) 739) on “Next Steps for a Sustainable European Future“, which maps the alignment of current EU policies with the SDG framework and provides for regular monitoring of progress. EUROSTAT has selected a subset of SDG indicators (100 out of 232) which are closely linked to the Communication, as well as to the accompanying document “Key European action supporting the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals“. For those indicators (16) to which a current EU policy target is associated, the Report explores the EU progress towards that target, whereas all other indicators are monitored according to the direction and speed of change. Progress at the goal level is then measured as an average of progress of individual indicators under the specific SDG.

According to the Statistical Office, in a five-year time span the European Union has made progress towards all SDGs, even though instances where the member States have moved away from a sustainable development trajectory are also evident within individual goals.  In particular, significant progress has been achieved for SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and SDG 15 (Life on Land).

This does not necessarily indicate that the status of the goal has already reached a satisfactory level for the EU. For example, progress on the conservation of terrestrial ecosystems under SDG15 does not mean that ecosystems and biodiversity across the member States are in good health. In addition, there have been only moderate advancements for eight SDGs, with SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities) lagging far behind the others. Finally, for four SDGs (including SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 13, Climate Action, SDG 14, Life Below Water, and SDG 16, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), EUROSTAT concludes that it has been impossible to evaluate trends due to insufficient data, something which is particularly worrying in the context of fundamental challenges such as climate change, degradation of marine ecosystems, and a rising authoritarian wave in the European continent.

To read all the key trends and statistics from the Report, download it here

 

Book review of ‘Governing Through Goals’

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The latest issue of Transnational Environmental Law (Volume 6 – Issue 3 – November 2017) features a new article by Dario Piselli and Riccardo Pavoni, Programme Manager and Academic Coordinator of the the Jean Monnet Module in European Union Law and Sustainable Development, respectively.

The article reviews ‘Governing Through Goals: Sustainable Development Goals as Governance Innovation‘, a compelling volume edited by Norichika Kanie (Senior Research Fellow at UNU-IAS) and Frank Biermann (Professor of Global Sustainability Governance at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development) which analyses the challenges and opportunities of goal-setting as a governance strategy in the light of the adoption, in September 2015, of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Governing through Goals constitutes a compelling contribution to the academic study of the SDGs as a governance strategy and represents a timely reminder that the hard part of the game begins now. Two years after the UN Sustainable Development Summit, the pace of implementation of the SDGs is still insufficient to deliver on the promise of transformative change that surrounded their adoption.

More importantly, there are two inherent risks in wrongly assuming that goal setting alone will move the world towards sustainable development. One such risk is arguably the central concern of this book: that enthusiasm towards goal setting does not appear to be matched by a parallel political will to move away from ‘governance-as-usual’ and devise innovative arrangements to help in managing global public goods in the Anthropocene. The other is the risk of an inadequate level of country ownership of the SDGs, leading to developments at the national level that simply realign existing policies with the SDG framework or fail to effectively integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development.”

The book, published by MIT Press, is available here.
You can read the review here.

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

 

EULawSD Module selected for co-funding by EACEA

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On 26 July 2017, the Education, Audiovisuals and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission announced the results of its annual call for co-funding of Jean Monnet Activities under the Erasmus+ Programme (Call EAC/A03/2016).

Among the 833 proposals received by the EACEA for Jean Monnet teaching and research activities, 141 were selected for funding. The proposal for a module on “European Union Law and Sustainable Development” (EULawSD), presented by Prof. Riccardo Pavoni of the University of Siena together with Mr. Dario Piselli (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies), Prof. Sonia Carmignani, Prof. Federico Lenzerini, Prof. Patrizia Vigni and Prof. Alessandro Palmieri (all of the University of Siena), was one of them. The project activities will now be hosted by the Department of Law of the University of Siena and implemented over the course of three years.

EULawSD seeks to explore the ever-expanding corpus of European Union Law relating to sustainable development, with an emphasis on its interactions with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations in September 2015. The module will consist of an annual 40-hour course primarily aimed at students of the Single Cycle Degree Programme in Law at the University of Siena, but also open to students from the Political Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences departments. The course will be complemented, on an annual basis, by a keynote opening lecture, a final expert roundtable, a dedicated website, and a series of webinars.

For more information, contact us via the dedicated contact form on this website.
For the full selection results, visit https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/erasmus-plus/news/jean-monnet-activities-2017-call-eaca032016-0_en.