Local and regional governments pave way for implementation of the global goals

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

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“Local and regional governments in Spain and across Europe are paving the way to the active implementation of the global goals”, writes Carlos Martínez Mínguez Mayor of Soria (Spain), CEMR Vice-President & Spokesperson on the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He signs the forward of a study just released by PLATFORMA and CEMR.

Sustainable development is increasingly being linked with a new trending concept: sustainable recovery. The COVID-19 pandemic which hit Europe so hard, and continues to affect us, still requires local and regional governments to be at the forefront of crisis management and recovery planning, touching not only upon health issues but also social, environmental and economic priorities for citizens and local governments.

For us to build back better together towards a stronger and more resilient Europe, we need to fully harness and foster the power of the 2030 Agenda and all the values it showcases: inclusiveness and diversity; fostering new multi-sectoral and multi-level partnerships; policy coherence; gender equality; and territorial cohesion, with a particular focus on depopulated Europe. For effective localisation to take place, it is imperative to address all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a whole, as an indivisible set of objectives that need to be achieved from the bottom-up.

New localisation strategies need to be addressed to promote synergies between the 2030 Agenda and the New Urban Agenda, as this political commitment will lay down the foundations for the holistic urban and rural design of Europe 2030: i.e. territories for better lives.

This year, Spain is presenting a Voluntary National Review at the United Nations High Level Political Forum that includes the recently approved Sustainable Development Strategy 2030, recognising and promoting the essential role of Spanish local governments to make the Sustainable Development Goals possible in the decade of action that lies ahead.

At the local level, periodical reports have been published (such as the Voluntary Local Review by Valencia, Barcelona, Diputación de Córdoba and Málaga, among others). Progress has been made in the definition of indicators, both with the Secretary of State for the 2030 Agenda of the Spanish Government and with a national think tank (Red Española para el Desarrollo Sostenible). All this with the strong support our national association, the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP).

Local and regional governments in Spain and across Europe are paving the way to the active implementation of the global goals, but we need to have a dedicated space in these national and international reports and decision-making processes to showcase the realities of our territories: our differences, our challenges and most of all our strengths.

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