On March 12, 2019, all the SDSN European Networks convened for the first time for a full day meeting in Paris. Ten national and regional networks, as well as several of SDSN’s Leadership Council members, explored how to collectively drive and shape the implementation of the SDGs in the European Union. The group discussed the current state of implementation of the SDGs at the European level in the context of the overall political and societal situation in the EU and in member states.

All participants agreed that the SDGs need to be made more tangible and that SDSN should work to show concretely how can the goals be achieved. The Six SDG Transformations were discussed in the context of highlighting ways to operationalize and implement the goals, while stakeholder engagement to transmit and accompany technical knowledge into actual societal change was pointed out as a major pillar for their accomplishment. SDSN Networks were challenged to track their countries’ efforts with regards to targets, budgets, and policies, as well as assessing needs in terms of teaching and training.

Another specific tool to assist in these matters is the SDG Index and Dashboards, the 2019 edition of which will provide an in-depth analysis of government efforts to implement the SDGs.

The group agreed to jointly publish an SDSN EU Policy and Data Report by September 2019 that will identify common challenges and priorities for the region, propose a set of actions for EU institutions to incorporate the SDGs in an outcome-driven framework, and outline a commitment for action from the national and regional SDSNs. The report will also present a new version of the SDG Index and Dashboards for EU countries.