This Policy Brief stresses the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the opportunities they provide for the improvement of public policies, and also sets out a series of concrete recommendations for their implementation in France.


  • The SDGs embody the European development model by setting ambitious targets addressing not only the environment but income inequality as well. Hence, the EU and its member States should enhance their political legitimacy and set an example by taking the lead on their implementation and establishing policies of cooperation with each other in addition to instituting domestic policies. This responsibility is even stronger for France, as it will be presiding over the G7 in 2019 during the review of the SDGs by the UN General Assembly.
  • Above all, the SDGs represent a real opportunity to build more coherent public policy and improve its assessment.
  • In concrete terms, the implementation of SDGs is an opportunity to completely transform sustainable development governance in France by bringing together all the ministries – under the leadership of the head of State – to collectively work towards a revision of the national sustainable development strategy.
  • The SDGs also provide France with the opportunity to regain international leadership on new indicators of wealth, by building on the law adopted in 2015 on the issue. France could thus assess its annual budgets and new laws by seeing if they pass the “SDG test.”
  • Lastly, since the SDGs have been adopted by all EU member States, France – along with Germany – could use these as a legitimate basis for a productive dialogue on the key political priorities of the EU by 2030.
  • Damien Demailly