The third Sustainable Development Festival takes place at a crucial moment for the future of Italy and of Europe. In 2019 the elections of the European Parliament, as well as the nomination of the new European Commission and of the President of the European Central Bank, will represent the beginning of a new political cycle for our continent, with significant impacts on the life of half a billion people. The European Union, as well as the entire world, is facing enormous economic, social, environmental and institutional challenges. The new European legislature will be asked to deliver effective and credible policies to improve the quality of life of European citizens and to contribute to a peaceful and prosperous world.
The Lisbon Treaty recognises sustainable development as one of the main aims of the European Union and Europe, notwithstanding the crises of the last decade, is still the most sustainable geo-economic region of the world. Nevertheless, the EU is not on a sustainable path and, without a change in trajectory, will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals agreed with the 2030 Agenda. In fact, the entire world will face huge economic, ecological and social risks, where conflicts for scarce resources, mass migrations, climate change-related disasters are expected to exacerbate political tensions within and between countries.
To lead Europe and the world onto a sustainable path, institutional changes and significant shifts in EU and Member States’ economic, social and environmental policies are urgently needed. The aim of the opening Conference of the third Italian Sustainable Development Festival, which will be held just few days before the elections for the European Parliament, is to identify some of the key actions that European institutions need to undertake to strengthen their capacity to guide our continent and the world towards a more equitable and sustainable future. The Conference, organized by the Secretariat of the Alliance, will be in English with simultaneous translation, and will see the participation of high-level representatives from the European institutions, from the financial world and civil society.
The Conference will take place one year after the 2018 Sustainable Development Festival High-Level Conference on “SDGs, Climate and the Future of Europe”, which demanded for a “leap forward” to make Europe the world champion of sustainable development. Following the publication of the Position Paper of the Commission on sustainable development, the time has come to implement the necessary policies to achieve this transformation.