Tuesday, 18 August 2020
In terms of participation and consultation, and since the implementation of the SDGs goes far beyond the responsibilities of the government, particular emphasis has been given to multiple stakeholders engagement (civil society and social partners, the private sector, academia and research community, regional and local authorities) in the SDGs implementation process and awareness raising on SDGs at all levels.
In particular, an open dialogue with some of the major national stakeholders has taken place through the platform provided by the Economic and Social Council of Greece (ESC), the constitutionally recognized institution for the conduct of social dialogue. ESC is working, following the model of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), on the basis of a tripartite structure representing the interests of three main groups: (i) one of employers-entrepreneurs; (ii) one of public and private sector employees; and (iii) one including other categories of interests groups such as farmers, self-employed people, professionals, consumers, environmental agencies, disabled people's confederation, gender equality and multi-child associations, and regional and local government. The ESC elaborates and delivers policy proposals and Opinions on a broad range of SDGs-related issues, including economic growth, employment and labour market, social inclusion, migration and refugee flow, sustainable agriculture, business environment, and democratisation of governance. Within this context, the ESC issued in 2017 an Opinion regarding the UN 2030 Agenda and the priority objectives for Greece. In this Opinion, the ESC presented its views on the national prioritisation of the SDGs and submitted a comprehensive set of proposals regarding the effective implementation of key economic, social and environmental aspects of the SDGs at different levels and sectors (i.e. economic growth, employment and social protection, sustainable energy, industrialisation and innovation).
The ESC, local and regional authorities, academia and research institutes, the private sector, and civil society organisations have substantively contributed in 2018 to the drafting of the first VNR report of Greece, by providing information on the challenges faced in each thematic priority, the main priorities, activities and policies developed as well as good practice examples to meet these challenges.
At a broader level, regarding public participation and consultation on draft legislation and government policy initiatives, the general public, institutions and various stakeholders can access and submit comments on new legislative proposals, prior to their submission to the Parliament, through the government portal for public consultation.
A series of high-level multi-stakeholder Events have been organised to raise awareness on the SDGs and provide a space for multi-stakeholder interaction. The Events were organised either by the private sector (e.g. Conference of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises on the SDGs on 2 March 2017) or in the form of international Economic Fora (i.e. the Concordia Economic Summit organized in Athens, on 5-6 June 2017) where Government representatives participated to provide their views on how the country should adopt and adapt the SDGs to national circumstances, or they were organised by Ministries, like the Conference organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the General Secretariat of the Government on how to address “Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development” (Athens, 7 March 2017) as well as the Dialogue organized by the Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy / National Center for Environment and Sustainable Development with environmental NGOs on the environmental dimension of the SDGs (Athens, 15 March 2017) that produced very fruitful results regarding the national prioritization process.
With regard to youth in particular, several Events and Workshops have taken place with Academia and the involvement of the Synod of Rectors in Universities for the awareness raising of the student and academic community with the most recent Event particularly focusing on “Promoting Opportunities for Youth Engagement for the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals” organized by the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Athens, 27 November 2019).
Stakeholders’ engagement in the SDGs implementation process is expected to be further enhanced through involvement in the elaboration and implementation of the National Implementation Plan for the SDGs.
In view of the European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW) 2021 taking place in 20-26 September, the Ministry of Environment and Energy, as the national focal point for ESDW, disseminates information and calls upon all stakeholders to organise and register their SDGs-related activities in the ESDW web platform, in order to further promote awareness on sustainable development and the SDGs. This year’s initiatives are organized by a wide range of stakeholders such as Universities, civil society organisations, municipalities, businesses, etc. The initiatives cover all SDGs, with topics connected to economic, social, environmental and cultural issues. Their aim is to raise collective awareness about the 2030 Agenda. In doing so, they are addressed to various target audiences, including local community and students, and most of them are of interactive format, in order to enhance the participants’ engagement.