The SDGs are an opportunity to make progress in many European debates (Multiannual Financial Framework, Common Agricultural Policy, etc.) and more generally in the fabric of EU policies. And if the EU implements them seriously, it is also an opportunity for it to affirm its commitment to the multilateral system and its position within it, and to emphasize the importance of the political project of sustainable development that the SDGs embody.
- Appoint a high-level panel—based on a European policy gap analysis to achieve the SDGs—to propose a number of policy priorities for the EU by 2030. These priorities must have targets to be achieved and monitoring indicators, and should be debated by the European Council and Parliament with a view to adopting a post-2020 strategy for the European Union.
- Use the SDGs as a template for presenting the next multiannual financial framework to make EU budget expenditure easier to understand, particularly for citizens. More generally, many countries have announced that they are using or intend to use the SDGs to develop and assess their budgets: the EU should analyse these initiatives and draw inspiration from them.
- Make the SDGs the guide for the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. The Commission should: identify out of the 169 SDG targets those relevant to European agriculture and food; adapt them to the European context and set quantified goals to be achieved by 2030; and extract a set of indicators to assess the various reform options and monitor the implementation of the next CAP.
- Beyond these major ongoing debates, SDG implementation is an opportunity to improve other European mechanisms, for example by integrating them into the impact studies prepared by the Commission and into the European Semester.