The European Commission published on 9 December 2022 a report on the cultural dimension of sustainable development in EU actions.
The report emphasises the indispensable role that culture plays in the implementation of EU policies, programmes and initiatives related to the UN’s 2030 Agenda on sustainable development. The Commission identifies key areas where it would be strategic to reinforce the collaboration with cultural and creative sectors as to leverage sustainable development. It explains from different perspectives and policies, how uniquely positioned the cultural and creative sectors are to interpret and put in place the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the 2030 Agenda. The EU Voluntary Review on the implementation of sustainable development goals, to be presented to the UN High-level Forum mid-2023, can benefit from the suggestions contained in the report.
The report also complements and addresses some of the recommendations of the Open method of coordination (OMC) working group of member states on the cultural dimension of sustainable development, which published its report ‘Stormy times. Nature and humans: cultural courage for change’ on 20 September 2022. It also follows up on the results from UNESCO’s MONDIACULT 2022 conference, which called for culture to be included as a specific objective in its own right among the next United Nations Development Goals.
Highlighting cross-cutting EU priorities
The report showcases EU programmes and initiatives in fields ranging from cohesion policy, employment and social affairs, education, international and neighborhood policies, the digital economy and research actions, industrial policies and the civil protection, to climate, environmental and green deal related initiatives. The report also highlights cross-cutting priorities such as the New European Bauhaus and projects and actions in development, such as those related to the European Year of Skills 2023.
The report is a key milestone in the follow-up to the final Declaration of Mondiacult, the UNESCO Conference on cultural policies and sustainable development, held in Mexico in September 2022, affirming the role of culture as a global public good. It is also very timely and needed in the perspective of the new EU Work Plan for Culture 2023-2026 - adopted on 29 November by the Council - which identifies a number of actions to materialise the contribution of cultural sectors to sustainability related challenges.