The 25th EEAC Annual Conference ‘Towards the 2030 Agenda and beyond: European cooperation within a new citizens–science–policy interface’

I’m absolutely thrilled to share this news with you! Catalonia is a EEAC member, and guess what? Along with two other students, Andrea Davila Brindley and Lluís Godo, we will be the Youth Representatives for the region at the EEAC Annual Conference.

We will be travelling with Raquel Ballesteros Arenas, Policy officer for the Advisory Council for Sustainable Development of Catalonia (CADS).

So what is the EEAC and what does it do?

The European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC) is a network of advisory bodies established by national or regional governments. EEAC members offer independent advice to their respective national or regional governments and parliaments related to the environment and sustainable development (EEAC).

What is the conference about?

The conference has a different theme each year. This year it will be themed: ‘Towards the 2030 Agenda and beyond: European cooperation within a new citizens–science–policy interface’.

When and where is the conference?

The conference will be held in Maastricht, The Netherlands on the 12th and 13th October, 2017.

Why organise this conference?

These annual conferences are a space to discuss the most pressing issues for governments concerning the implementation of sustainability policies and the environment. They are an opportunity to both learn from speeches given by experts and to participate by discussing the challenges Europe faces in implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in the next 25 years.

I think this phrase pretty much summarises today’s tension between politics and evidence:

“Within the EU there is continuing debate about how to feed science into policy in a dispassionate but relevant and politically sensitive way.”

David Baldock in Twenty five years on. Progressing the sustainable development and environmental agenda in the EU and the role of the EEAC network.

What are the working groups?

  • Energy and climate change.
  • Sustainable development.
  • Marine.
  • Circular economy.

What are Catalonia’s main points?

As the region’s Youth Representatives, we’ve written an essay describing our priorities for the 25 years ahead. These are gender equality, climate action and resource management in cities.

What are the main implementation questions?

In a letter of concern written by Arnau Queralt, Chair of the European Network of Advisory Councils on the Environment and Sustainable Development (EEAC) to the First Vice-President Frans Timmermans European Commission, the following questions were asked:

  1. How can the responsibility for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda be made visible at all levels, and how can the EU maintain a leading position in this process? Wouldn’t an overarching implementation strategy send a strong signal to all involved?
  2. How can the EU demonstrate continued leadership in the world when implementing the 2030 Agenda?
  3. How can we meet the challenges of a transition towards a zero carbon society, within the present legal framework of the European Union, especially regarding the rules of the stability and growth pact?

I look forward to writing more about my experience during this event. Till then!

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