The recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic needs to be based on a profound shift to a more sustainable, fair, just and resilient world, in line with the principles of the Sustainable Development Goals. According to the OECD, 65% of the 169 targets of the 17 SDGs cannot be reached without the involvement of, or coordination with, local and regional governments.
There are many experiences of how progressive cities and regions work every day to build back in fairer way towards a sustainable Europe so that ending poverty, taking climate action and building sustainable communities become a reality.
Paradoxically, whereas the commitment of local and regional authorities to the SDGs has kept increasing, they have almost disappeared from the EU narrative: there is no overarching strategy and no effective mainstreaming or coordination of the SDGs in the European Commission's internal governance, which puts at risk their chances of implementation by 2030. SDGs need to be better integrated into the European Semester and, likewise, be better linked with the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
In November, COP26 could be an opportunity to look ahead and prepare the ground for an ambitious global 2050 agenda, combining climate targets with the broader SDG approach, whilst also highlighting the case for a green and just recovery in regions and cities.
The workshop therefore aims to translate the global dimension into concrete local solutions, by showcasing how inspiring initiatives from progressive cities and regions in the EU and beyond are already driving change on the ground, while also calling for local communities to be empowered through strong EU support in terms of financing and governance strategies.
The event will involve our network of local and regional politicians from the EU and beyond, including young leaders. It will be part of the S&D Group in the European Parliament’s Global Progressive Forum, an initiative connecting progressive forces from around the world.