In the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN Agenda 2030 Transforming Our World, more than a dozen 1 distinguished EU personalities invite Europeans to “rethink Europe”.

Sustainable development must be an overarching EU objective as stated by the General Affairs Council on 20 June last. It lies at the core of the European values. Social and economic development depend on the sustainable management of our planet’s natural resources.

Herman Van Rompuy, co-signatory, President European Council emeritus and Honorary President of the Club of Rome EU-Chapter

While the Commission 2 intends to launch - with a 2025 perspective – a Reflection Paper 'Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030' on the follow-up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the signatories support the proposal of a ‘partnership action plan 2017-2019’ between state and nonstate actors, prior to the completion of the Brexit negotiations and the 2019 European elections.

This action plan includes a European Convention on SDGs and Climate Change during the first semester 2018 and an informal European Council during the second semester 2018. The European Convention would adopt a ‘Joint Action Transformational Partnership plan of non-state and state actors in Europe’ which will be a major milestone in the shaping of the ‘new social contract’ advocated in the report Better Business-Better World. 20.

For these signatories, the European Union’s commitment to fighting climate change can only be achieved within the context of the SDG framework to be able to fully implement the Paris Climate Agreement. Sustainable development is not a fortunate by-product of climate action; it is its organizing principle.

The informal European Council 2018 would approve a " European Sustainable Development roadmap to 2030" , with, i.a. indicators of the ‘New Development Model in Europe’; more ambitious targets that the UN 2015 agreement - as proposed by Pascal Lamy, letter ‘Rethink Europe’ co-signatory - related to education (SDG4) poverty (SDG1), good health and well-being (SDG3 and inequities (SDG10)3, food system and nutritious food for all (SDG2), environment and resource efficiency (SDGs13,14,15) ; pathways and timelines for their achievement providing new tools for citizen participation in EU initiatives and for accountability, the joint partnership action plan between State and non-State actors including a joint financial institutions and citizens action plan putting abundant capital to use behind the world’s agreed values.

We should not lose the window of opportunity 2017-2019, to reconfigure the EU software to better serve and protect citizens, empower non-state actors both in terms of democracy and market change, engage a new development cycle, secure resilience, encourage an ethic of care and enhance wellbeing, and develop new forms of international collaboration in an era of polylateralism.

Enrico Giovannini, co-signatory of the letter ‘Rethink Europe’

Europe Ambition 2030 is an informal group facilitated by European Partners for the Environment which aims to develop a new narrative of an ‘ambitious Europe’ which puts Europe in position to lead the re-orientation of globalization and the effective and timely implementation of the UN-SDG2030 agenda, so that no one should be left behind and includes proposals for the reconfiguration of the ‘EU software’ to better serve its citizens.

  • 1. The statement is signed by former President of the European Council, former Prime Ministers, former Vice-presidents of the Commission and WTO Executive Director, former Ministers of Finance and Labour, experts in finance, statistics, food security, gender issues, European policies.
  • 2. State of the Union 2017. Letter of Intent.
  • 3. Où va le monde? (where is the world goin ? ) Pascal Lamy and Nicole Guesotto. Ed O. Jacob 2017.