Brussels, 22 NovemberEuropean governments need to stand up for a new approach that promotes sustainable development globally as the best response to the challenges facing our continent and the world. In a first response to European Commission proposals on a new European Consensus on Development, the Confederation of European NGOs on Relief and Development, CONCORD, representing 2600 NGOs, calls for the translation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into action and will be monitoring European governments to ensure the commitments will be followed through in legally binding policies and instruments.

Recent moves to use development aid to tackle Europe’s own migration, security and economic challenges at the expense of the world’s poorest are not the answer. Today’s proposals must lead to real action. Conditionality should not be imposed on partner countries, aid should not be spent for military purposes and investment should reach those traditionally left behind and not European companies.
Johannes Trimmel

President of CONCORD

CONCORD calls for European governments to stand up for its core values and will continue to press for tangible measures that promote human rights, tackle inequality and ensure gender equality.

The new Consensus has to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and represent a real transformation in the way we tackle inequality and climate change.

Johannes Trimmel

CONCORD President


Find below the different reactions of our members and partners:

Notes to editors:

  • CONCORD is the European confederation of relief and development NGOs. Its 28 national associations, 20 international networks and 3 associate members represent 2,600 non governmental organisations, supported by millions of citizens across Europe.
  • The first Consensus: On 20 December 2005 the Presidents of the Commission, Parliament and the Council signed the statement on EU development policy, the “European consensus”, which, for the first time in fifty years of cooperation, defines the framework of common principles within which the EU and its Member States will each implement their development policies in a spirit of complementarity. Link for more info
  • Revision of the consensus: The revised European Consensus on Development will address the development-related aspects of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Link to press announcement – Link to the Consensus
  • SDGs: The 2030 Agenda, adopted by the the United Nations in September 2015, represents a new blueprint to tackle the global trends and challenges that have emerged since the adoption of the Millennium Development Declaration in 2000. The core of the 2030 Agenda is the set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and associated targets, which replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from 2016 and run to 2030.
    • Today, Eurostat launched “Sustainable development in the European Union — A statistical glance from the viewpoint of the UN Sustainable Development Goals” which provides a statistical glance at the current situation in the EU and its Member States from the viewpoint of the SDGs. The publication is based on a limited number of indicators which are relevant for the EU and aims to capture the broader ambition of each SDG. In total, 51 indicators are presented, mainly produced and disseminated by Eurostat. For each indicator the publication presents data for the most recent available year for the EU-28 and the EU Member States and trends (in general from 2000) for the EU-28.
    • The latest CONCORD report titled “Sustainable Development – The Stakes could not be higher” analyses the EU’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development by looking into five facets of the EU policies, highlighting good practices, alarming cases and recommendations.
  • Migration and Aid: European NGOS do not support a Development Policy that, rather than focusing on poverty elimination, the achievement of fundamental human rights and reducing inequalities in the world, is instead being used to stop migrants and asylum seekers from entering Europe. More info in:
  • Economic Growth: Investment and economic growth do not automatically lead to decent jobs and well-being. CONCORD calls for an alternative measure of progress to GDP which includes social, human and natural capital and promotes a more comprehensive vision of sustainable livelihoods and well-being. The EU should agree and adopt a common set of EU indicators covering social, economic, environmental and governance factors which focus on the well-being of people and planet, and commit to use them in all relevant policy- and decision-making as a complement to GDP. More info in the chapter 5 of our report “Sustainable Development – The Stakes could not be higher”
  • Aid budget: The European Union has again failed to meet its commitment to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income on Development Aid by 2015. The CONCORD Aidwatch report 2016, entitled ‘This is not enough’, reveals that only five countries met their 2015 targets: Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden and United Kingdom. This means there is a ‘debt’ of €36.9billion in 2015 between what the EU has promised to developing countries and what it has delivered. 

Media contacts: 

For media enquiries: contact Helene Debaisieux – CONCORD Communication Coordinator

For policy questions: contact Meagen BALDWIN – CONCORD policy consultant