On the 26th and 27th of June 2023, the 5th Civil Society Forum for Sustainability: Shaping the European Green Deal was co-organised by SOLIDAR, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and SDG Watch Europe within the framework of the REAL DEAL project. ALDA participated in the event as a partner of the project’s consortium.
The first day the REAL DEAL consortium and the Civil Society Organisations met at the European Parliament in Brussels to attend a conference on the EU Voluntary Review, Europe’s UN progress report on SDGs published by the European Commission in May.
The conference was introduced by Marta Iglesias López, Board Member of SOLIDAR & SOLIDAR Foundation and moderated by Patrizia Heidegger, Deputy Secretary General at European Environmental Bureau.
Petros Kokkalis and Udo Bullmann, MEP SDG Alliance, took the floor as they presented remarks on the European Parliament SDG Report. Afterwards, Petra Petan, Cabinet of Paolo Gentiloni at the European Commission, based her intervention on the Remarks on the European Voluntary Review. At the end, Julie Rosenkilde, REAL DEAL representative of Nyt Europa and part of the steering group of SDG Watch Europe, presented the Civil Society Spotlight Report.
After the Conference at the European Parliament, the SDG Watch Europe Annual General Assembly took place at Mundo Madou. SDG Watch members from all over Europe met with more than 60 CSOs working on just transition, participation, social justice, and climate environmental sustainability to deliberate on the future of the European Green Deal and on the Agenda 2030. On this occasion, the elections of the SDG Watch Europe Steering groups took place. Three members of the Steering Group completed their terms as three new people were elected as new members.
This in-person Civil Society Forum meeting had the objective to focus on the future of the European Green Deal and its transformative potential
The following day, the CSO Forum took place at Mundo Madou.
After a brief presentation by Jeffrey Moxom (EEB) and Hilmi Tekoglu (Solidar), Imme Scholz, Co-President of the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Co-Chair of the Group of Independent Scientists presented the UN Global Sustainable Development Report 2023, explaining how the implementation of the 2030 Agenda is proceeding, which are the difficulties regarding its application and how to follow-up on the call to actions contained in the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) at the European level.
Afterwards, Jeffrey Moxom, SDG Watch Europe Coordinator introduced to the audience the European Green Deal, presenting other relevant documents such as the REAL DEAL Gap Analysis Report and Pact for Our Common Future. Then, Patrizia Heidegger, Deputy Secretary General and Director for EU Governance and Sustainability and Global Policies presented how to act towards an EGD 2.0 with a focus on risks, the circular economy, air and water pollution, the climate crisis, sustainable food systems, and the importance of the EU elections 2024 in order to have the certainty to continue the ecological transition and to have the possibility to realise an upcoming EGD 2.0
The Forum continued with the Civil Society Organisations Panel Discussion “The next European Green Deal: The global, economic, social, environmental (climate), and participatory dimensions of the EGD”, moderated by Barbara Caracciolo from SOLIDAR. The Speakers were:
- Eric Ponthieu from Fair Trade Advocacy Office for the global dimension.
- Laura de Bonfils, from Social Platform for the social and economic dimensions.
- Adrien Licha from ALDA for the participatory dimension.
- Silvia Valentini, from CAN Europe for the environmental dimension.
The panel discussion was followed by two working group sessions and participants were split into five groups corresponding to each EGD dimension. REAL DEAL partners facilitated discussions and activities and reported the inputs and suggestions that emerged from each group.
Last session was dedicated to the panel discussion “Policy Dialogue with EU Level Policy Makers – Looking ahead”, moderated by Rose Heffernan, WECF. The audience had the opportunity to listen to relevant policymakers, such as:
- Margarida Marques, Member of the European Parliament (S&D).
- Thaís GONÇALVES, Policy Officer of DG EMPL.
- Aurelie Godefroy, Deputy head of unit INTPA F2 – Environment, Sustainable Natural Resources.
- Tanja Buzek, coordinator for the Domestic Advisory groups in trade agreements of EESC.
This in-person Civil Society Forum meeting had the objective to focus on the future of the European Green Deal and its transformative potential, tackling all the dimensions of the EGD with CSOs, citizens, policymakers, and experts. Indeed, it represented a fruitful opportunity to express concerns as to exchange knowledgeable information while sharing experiences and views on the topic.