AGENDA 2030 IMPLEMENTATION
Tuesday, 18 August 2020
In November 2015, the Sub-Committee for Sustainable Development was established within the lower house of the Romanian Parliament. On April 2016, both houses of the Romanian Parliament issued a joint statement supporting the 2030 Agenda, highlighting the need for Sustainable Development to be at the core of Public Policy. Two handbooks that are geared towards MP’s on the parliamentarian dimension of the 2030 Agenda were translated into Romanian to include the SDGs in the legislative process, and every committee in Parliament will analyse the SDGs and include them in their legislative projects.
In 2017, the Government of Romania established a Department of Sustainable Development (DSD) within the Prime Minister’s Office. DSD is tasked with coordinating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the national level, centralizing and integrating, monitoring data concerning sustainable development, and collaborating with public institutions.
The first task of DSD was to revise the National Sustainable Development Strategy of Romania 2008-2020-2030. The new strategy, adopted in 2018, proposes a new institutional framework to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Romania, to ensure the policy coherence and to encourage the multi-stakeholder engagement and civil society involvement. The following structures have been created:
- At the level of the Romanian Government, the Interdepartmental Committee on Sustainable Development (ICSD) is one of the key institutions for policy coherence and comprises ministers headed by the Prime Minister. ICSD was established by Governmental Decision 272/2019.
- At the level of central public authorities, the Sustainable Development Hubs are being set up with experts in the field of activity specific to their institution. They also act as liaisons between their institutions, DSD and National Institute of Statistics.
- At the level of academia, scientific community and civil society, and the tracking of the effects of policies in the field of SD, the Consultative Council on Sustainable Development (CCSD) is being set up. The work of the 34th members of the Council will also sustain the efforts to deliver soon a National Action Plan. CCSD was established by Governmental Decision 114/2020.
- At the level of civil society, the Coalition for Sustainable Development (CSD) is being set up by representatives of young people, non-governmental organisations, the private sector, local authorities, unions, employers’ associations, R&D institutions, the academic community, mass media, the religious denominations, farmers, the elderly and families. CSD seeks to act as an NGO which advocates for the national SDGs.
Another important stakeholder in implementing the 2030 Agenda in Romania is the National Institute of Statistics (NIS). NIS was of important help during the Romania’s Strategy drafting in assessing Romania’s current situation. Once a new set of SDG indicators, for the new strategy, will be agreed upon, NIS will have the responsibility to quantify the indicators that monitor the implementation of Romania’s new SD strategy.
DSD is receiving assistance from OECD within the project “Linking policy planning and budgeting to support the implementation of the SDGs in Romania”, financed by the Romanian Government. The project aims to ensure that effective arrangements are in place to help implement Romania’s 2030 Strategy and thus the 2030 Agenda, and to support transparency on monitoring and reporting of SDG-related public spending.
International Efforts on Implementing 2030 Agenda for SD
Romania is fully committed to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development and is determined to support other countries in achieving the SDGs. Romania has presented the first Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development from New York, in July 2018, under the coordination of the Ministry for Environment and Climate Change. Romania has assumed the necessary development policies with real impact on advancing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNR process has demonstrated the need for national coordination of the 2030 Agenda implementation in a systemic approach to the SDGs.
During the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council, in the first semester of 2019, the head of DSD leaded the EU Council preparatory body - working party group for implementing 2030 Agenda (GL2030). DSD, as the representative of Romania, coordinated the elaboration and obtained the consensus for the EU Council Conclusions "Towards an ever more sustainable Union by 2030", adopted on April 9, 2019. The document contains 27 articles reaffirming the European Union's commitment to support the 2030 Agenda and outlines a framework through which it can be implemented, reiterating Member States' call for a comprehensive implementation strategy at EU level. During the same period GL 2030 adopted the Issue Paper on monitoring the implementation of the 2030 Agenda globally and reviewing the format and organizational aspects of the UN High Level Policy Forum on Sustainable Development, which served as a starting point for the New York negotiations on HLPF reform. Also during the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council, DSD together with the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in partnership with UNECE, organized on April 16, 2019 in Bucharest, a high-level inter-ministerial conference 2030 Agenda- Partnership for Sustainable Development with participation of representatives of 40 countries from the EU, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia and Western Balkans, representing international institutions and organizations, civil society and business community. The conference was an opportunity to share best practices and experiences gained in the process of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Bucharest Declaration on Fostering Partnerships for Sustainable Development strengthened the participants commitment to continue to further enhance their approaches to achieve the Goals by 2030 through accelerating national coordination and by building more robust partnerships in good faith and with the desire to ensure that both current and future generations can live in a sustainable world. On July 16th, in the frame of HLPF 2019, the Romanian Government in collaboration, with the Government of Iceland and the OECD hosted a high level side event: ”Governance for the SDGs: Learning from country experiences and defining an agenda for the future”. The objective of the side event was to provide a focused discussion on the governance challenges and opportunities of implementing the SDGs as well as to explore partnerships to support countries address the governance issues.
On 25 September 2019, at the SDGs Summit in New York, the Governments of Romania and Colombia, in collaboration with the OECD and UNDP has launched The Global Hub on the Governance for the SDGs in a High-level side event. The Global Hub is a joint OECD-UNDP initiative which aims to strengthen the capacity of governments worldwide to implement the SDGs. The Hub offers a global partnership where countries can collaborate on the governance challenges posed by the SDGs and seek targeted policy advice and implementation support that is tailored to their priorities and context.
The action plan for the implementation of the strategy was finalized in 2021 and approved in 2022 following a consultation process that consisted of eight rounds of workshops with stakeholders from all social segments. Its approach is adapted to the institutional context and to the Department's ability to act as an institutional catalyst. The actions are mainly aimed at inter-institutional coordination so that line ministries and all institutions are actively involved in the implementation of the 2030 National Sustainable Development Strategy.
The main objective of the National Action Plan is to create by 2030 an effective, efficient, and transparent governance structure for sustainable development. The main challenges the action identifies are:
- elaboration of the national SDG budget reporting framework at the level of public administration, in order to make transparent the allocations and efficiency of the budgetary efforts for sustainable development, which will contribute to the incorporation of the concepts of sustainable development at the level of productive processes in the economy;
- building a cohesive society, based on the principle of "leaving no one behind", through sustainable education, public health, and social protection systems;
- the consolidation of the critical mass that will adopt the principles of sustainable development, by involving all stakeholders from the political environment, public administration, economic and business environment, from the social environment, and from every citizen, an essential condition in achieving the 2030 Strategy's Targets.
Department of Sustainable Development (DSD) at the Romanian Prime Minister’s Office
Considering that the 2030 Agenda in Romania is being implemented at the PM’s level, every Romanian Ministry is involved in implementing the 2030 Agenda.
State Counsellor László BORBÉLY
Romania Voluntary National Review 2018