COFACE co-signs letter from the EU high-level multi-stakeholder platform on SDGs to President von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
European Commission
Rue de la Loi 200, 1049 Bruxelles

CC: Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Chair of the EU high-level multi-stakeholder platform on SDGs

16 December 2019


Re: Letter from the EU high-level multi-stakeholder platform on SDGs to President von der Leyen


Dear President von der Leyen,

We, as members of the EU high-level multi-stakeholder platform on the Sustainable Development Goals, would like to congratulate you on your appointment as President of the European Commission.

It was with great pleasure that we saw several of our joint proposals to move towards a Sustainable Europe (see joint letter and report annexed) reflected in your Political Guidelines 2019-2024 and in the mission letters for your College of Commissioners:

  • Your call on each Commissioner to ensure the delivery of the United Nations SDGs within their respective policy area;
  • Your decision that the College as a whole will be responsible for the overall implementation of the Goals;
  • Your commitment to integrate the SDGs into the European Semester policy coordination cycle with Member States;
  • And also your headline ambitions such as a European Green Deal, an economy that works for people, a Europe fit for the digital age, a stronger Europe in the world as well as a new push for European democracy.

All of these will play a crucial part in moving Europe over the next 5 years onto a sustainable path that will benefit all people and the planet.

We as platform members are eager to think with you how best to go about this in an integrated manner. Scientific evidence shows that overcoming policy silos by leveraging interactions among the Goals is a prerequisite to the achievement of all 17 SDGs. We hereby reiterate our call – shared by the European Council and Parliament – for an overarching Sustainable Europe 2030 strategy and implementation plan to allow for such an integrated, time-bound and targeted approach that can underpin the renewed European Semester process. In addition, we call on you to take the political leadership to steer this whole-of-Commission approach. Furthermore, we call for the renewal of the platform’s mandate – expiring at the end of 2019 (C(2017) 2941 final) – to be able to advise you in this endeavour, giving the various areas of expertise we can bring and the work already done, both at EU and Member State level.

We wish you and your team a smooth start and would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to exchange on the best ways forward.

Yours sincerely,

Members and observers of the EU SDG Multi-stakeholder Platform



  1. Johannes Trimmel, President, CONCORD Europe
  2. Alan Jope, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever
  3. Martin Harper, Executive Director, Global Conservation, the RSPB, representing BirdLife Europe
  4. Kelig Puyet, Director, Social Platform
  5. Arnoldas Abramavicius, Vice-President, EU Committee of the Regions
  6. Jeremy Wates, Secretary-General, European Environmental Bureau
  7. Frederic Vallier, Secretary General, Council of European Municipalities and Regions
  8. Sergi Corbalán, Executive Director, Fair Trade Advocacy Office
  9. Eva Jané-Llopis, Director Health SDGs and Social Innovation Program, ESADE Business School
  10. Mella Frewen, Director General, FoodDrinkEurope
  11. Annemie Drieskens, President, COFACE Families Europe
  12. Ester Asin, Director, WWF European Policy Office
  13. Francesco Starace, CEO and General Manager, Enel
  14. Leida Rijnhout, Steering Group Member, SDG Watch Europe
  15. Vandinika Shukla, personal capacity, European Commission’s Young Leader (2016), United Nations Women HQ
  16. Michael Gaebel, Director Higher Education Policy Unit, European University Association
  17. Janez Potočnik, personal capacity, Co-Chair International Resource Panel hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme
  18. Sascha Marschang, Interim Secretary General, European Public Health Alliance
  19. Susan Flocken, European Director, European Trade Union Committee for Education
  20. Rosalyn Old, Board Member, European Youth Forum
  21. Anna Lisa Boni, Secretary General, EUROCITIES
  22. Etienne Davignon, Chairman of CSR Europe, the European Business Network on Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility
  23. Peter Schmidt, Sustainable Development Observatory President, European Economic and Social Committee
  24. Patricia Moreira, Managing Director, Transparency International
  25. Wiebe Draijer, personal capacity, Chairman Managing Board, Rabobank
  26. Liina Carr, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation
  27. Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General, Copa-Cogeca



  1. Luc Bas, Director, International Union for Conservation of Nature European Regional Office
  2. Arnau Queralt-Bassa, Chair, European network of Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils
  3. Annika Lindblom, President, European Sustainable Development Network
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