ESDN Policy Briefs are synthesis documents from the ESDN Conferences, Workshops, and Peer Learning Platforms and Visits. Policy Briefs are not only based on presentations given by keynote speakers, but also on the outputs generated by interactive group work between policymakers and experts in sustainable development during these events, which culminate in jointly made recommendations with respect to the topic of the specific ESDN event.
The following suggestions are based on discussions and reflections by participants of the 18th ESDN Workshop, which was held virtually on 24 June 2020 under the title “Achieving the SDGs through a Sustainable and Just Transition: Challenges and responses to COVID-19”. They represent a set of preliminary ideas on how to respond to the emerging economic crisis following the Covid-19 outbreak in Europe in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable manner.
This Workshop was organized by the ESDN in cooperation with the Department for Sustainable Development at the Romanian Prime Minister’s Office, and hosted about 100 participants from 22 European countries. The participants consisted mostly of high-level policymakers from different European national governments dealing with sustainable development. Additionally, over 3,000 people watched the livestream of the Workshop on Facebook. There was a number of keynote speakers, as well as discussions between the participants.
This ESDN Policy Brief summarizes important suggestions made in the presentations and discussions of the Workshop. It also takes into account the results of a survey about European governments’ plans for a sustainable recovery that was conducted by the ESDN Office in June 2020.
The following policy suggestions were generated as a result of the 18th ESDN Workshop:
- Use the SDGs as a guideline for recovery from Covid-19;
- Focus on increasing policy coherence;
- Take advantage of Covid-19 recovery for making long-term systemic changes;
- Aim for green recovery; and
- Look across borders: International cooperation.