In Brussels, Eurodiaconia, a network of 46 organizations in 32 European countries providing social services and working for social justice, urged the European Commission to bring together the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) under an overarching single framework guiding the EU’s work for the post-2020 period.

The European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) is a framework of 20 principles building upon existing European social rights, which was jointly proclaimed by all three EU Institutions on 17 November 2017.

Two years earlier, the European Commission has committed itself to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 (Agenda 2030) and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are the follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

On the occasion of an event in the European Parliament on the 15th May 2018 “Sustainable Development Goals vs European Pillar of Social Rights?” Eurodiaconia presented its research paper onIntegrating and Implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The research paper seeks to assess how the EPSR and SDGs can complement each other and make a real difference in people’s lives through their effective implementation.

The publication is accompanied by a policy recommendation paper, suggesting five steps to integrate the EPSR and SDGs frameworks and their monitoring mechanisms in order to facilitate their effective implementation throughout the EU.

During the meeting, Heather Roy for Eurodiaconia commented that: “It is wrong to assume that there is a division of fields of application between the EPSR and the SDGs along the lines of internal versus external policies. On the contrary, the SDGs aspire to be a global agenda applicable also to the EU’s internal policies. Therefore, when considered together, those two elements have the potential to form a coherent and comprehensive post-2020 strategy for the EU.”