This month’s Spotlight features Arnau Queralt Bassa, Chairman of the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC). The EEAC is comprised of councils at the national and subnational level that give advice to governments and parliaments. Arnau explains that the biggest challenge of multi-stakeholder councils is to find a consensus between up to fifty members with different perspectives and visions. He talks about the different structures, tasks and capacities of councils around Europe. They vary in their agenda setting ability and not all are taken equally seriously by the governments they are advising.
The SDGs play a crucial role in the EEAC’s work. Arnau explains how councils in different countries use them in their work in very different ways. The EEAC is also an observer at the European Commission’s Multi-Stakeholder Platform on the SDGs. Arnau argues that this is an excellent space for debate and exchanging ideas. However, he also explains that it is not as inclusive as it could be. For the Green Deal, he hopes that it will soon go beyond the speeches and the framework and translate into concrete policies.
The interview was conducted by Prof. André Martinuzzi, Coordinator of the ESDN Office and Head of the Institute for Managing Sustainability.
Disclaimer: This interview was conducted in October 2019 and does not reflect recent developments or impacts of Covid-19!