The Council approves conclusions on a social, green and digital transition

© European Union, 2020, Council of the EU – Audiovisual resources© European Union, 2020, Council of the EU – Audiovisual resources

The Foreign Affairs Council, in its development configuration, approved today conclusions on a social, green and digital transition in which the Council reaffirms the European Union’s and its member states’ commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The conclusions underline that sustainable development is currently hampered by climate change and the ecological crisis as well as shocks and conflicts, such as the global consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. These multiple crises are leading to the destabilisation of the geopolitical landscape, aggravating global challenges, and increasing fragility, with a noticeable impact in developing countries.

The Council particularly highlights that the increasing levels of poverty and inequality within and among countries pose a threat to sustainable development. In order to leave no-one behind, a strong and positive social agenda should be enhanced and promoted in cooperation with partner countries.

In this context, the Council stresses how the social, green and digital transitions reflect EU values, aim to strengthen the autonomy of partner countries and give added value to EU partnerships.

Reinforcing social cohesion and facilitating access to basic social services and social protection reduces poverty and inequalities and has the potential to promote new social contracts and social inclusion globally.

The Council reaffirms the EU’s strong commitment to an empowered civil society, including women’s rights organisations and feminist movements, organisations advocating for children’s rights and the rights of persons with disabilities, human rights defenders and social partners, as well as an enabling and accessible environment for civil society.

The Council stresses the importance of the development effectiveness agenda and highlights that the social, green and digital transitions require substantial and sustainable mobilisation of financial resources, including through Global Gateway.