This week we looked to bridge the gap between global and European social agenda’s. The Sustainable Development Goals, part of the United Nations 2030 Agenda apply to the countries of Europe as well as the rest of the world. They provide many social goals, including addressing poverty and inequalities as well as ensuring access to social and health care services.

The European Union acknowledges the SDG’s as a global strategy they are part of but we have not seen much acknowledgement of the goals in EU domestic policy, including the European Pillar of Social Rights. Therefore we commissioned research to look at how the SDG’s and European social policy could be aligned and provide a comprehensive framework for making a difference to people across the EU and beyond.

This research, along with our policy recommendations were presented at a well attended Breakfast Meeting in the European Parliament this week, hosted by Jean Lambert MEP. It was a very encouraging meeting with strong commitments from both the parliament and the European Commission to follow our recommendations and see the Pillar of Social Rights as the delivery tool for the social aspects of the SDG’s. But the message was clear – it is not enough for the EU to align the frameworks, it needs to happen at national level as well. That is why we will be following this meeting up with a workshop for our members at our forthcoming AGM looking at how we can achieve similar advocacy at national level.

Without political committment across Europe and indeed, across the world, the SDG’s will remain an aspiration and millions of people will remain victims of poverty, social exclusion and inequality. For diaconal actors this in contrast to our quest for social justice and we will continue to promote alignment and action in the coming months.

Have a good weekend,