(Brussels, Luxembourg, 26/10/2015) Progress to make EU policies fair to poor and vulnerable people is insufficient to seriously tackle sustainable development challenges and inequalities, according to European Development NGOs at the press conference held in Luxembourg, organised by CONCORD and Cercle de Coopération, under the patronage of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).

European policy-makers should ensure that EU policies are coherent with sustainable development

CONCORD and the Cercle de Coopération highlighted the major concerns of European development civil society towards the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union on 26 October in Luxembourg, with a focus on how to make European policies coherent with sustainable development.

“Policies that are taken here in Europe can have devastating impacts on the lives of children, women and men outside our borders, especially in countries where poverty and inequality are important. Think of tax regimes that make tax dodging possible. Think of investment treaties that mainly protect big European companies investing abroad. Or think of free trade agreements that force low income countries to open up markets while not yet being sufficiently competitive. We urge European policy-makers to walk the talk and take strong and visible decisions that demonstrate that sustainable development is a must not a mere option”, said Laura Sullivan, Vice President of CONCORD.

“The EU played a pivotal role in pushing for a universal commitment for Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD). We hope that the adoption of the SDGs will be an opportunity to convene all stakeholders and set out a clear vision of the EU on how to implement the goals, with clear targets and robust, participatory and transparent monitoring and accountability mechanisms”, affirmed Rilli Lappalainen, CONCORD PCSD group’s co-chair.

NGOs call on EU Member States to step up efforts to ensure coherent policies with new Sustainable Development Goals

Presenting the main findings of the new CONCORD’s comparative analysis of PCD systems in EU Member States, Christine Dahm, Cercle de Coopération Director, said “Our research shows that more Member States have taken steps towards organizing dialogue amongst different ministries, and even sometimes with external stakeholders, to discuss global challenges and development. However, most of these mechanisms are found ineffective and awareness amongst Parliamentarians and ministries’ officials about the need to be more coherent remains very low”.


Notes to editors

1. CONCORD Spotlight Briefs on Policy Coherence for Development 2015 http://bit.ly/1DsuQkV 
2. CONCORD is the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs. It represents NGOs from all 28 EU member states, as well as 20 international networks and 3 associate members.
3. Cercle de Coopération des Organisations Non Gouvernementales de Développement de Luxembourg is Luxembourg’s national platform of development NGOs, representing 73 member organisations. Cercle de Coopération is a member of CONCORD.

Media contacts:

CONCORD PCD coordinator Blandine.bouniol@concordeurope.org
CONCORD Communications Officer maria.galeone@concordeurope.org
Cercle de Coopération Director christine.dahm@cercle.lu