Sustainable development in the European Union - Monitoring Report on Progress Towards the SDGs in an EU context


In November 2017, the European Commission published its 2017 Sustainable Development Goals Monitoring report. This publication provides a statistical overview of trends relating to the SDGs in the EU over the past five years, based on the 100 indicators chosen.

Sustainable development objectives have been at the heart of European policy for a long time, firmly anchored in the European Treaties and mainstreamed in key projects, sectoral policies and initiatives. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets, adopted by the United Nations (UN) in September 2015, have given a new impetus to global efforts to achieve sustainable development. The EU is committed to playing an active role to maximise progress towards the SDGs, as outlined in its Communication ‘Next steps for a sustainable European future'.

The Communication provides for regular monitoring of progress towards the SDGs in an EU context. This publication entitled ‘Sustainable development in the European Union — Monitoring report on progress towards the SDGs in an EU context (2017 edition)’ is the first of these regular monitoring exercises. It builds on the EU SDG indicator set that was developed for the purpose of monitoring progress towards the SDGs in an EU context and adopted in May 2017. The aim of this publication is not to exhaustively assess EU progress towards the 169 targets of the 2030 Agenda. The indicators selected have strong links with the above-mentioned Commission Communication and the accompanying Commission Staff Working Document ‘Key European action supporting the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals’.

The indicator set comprises 100 indicators that are structured along the 17 SDGs. Each goal has six indicators primarily attributed to it, except for goals 14 and 17 which only have five. Forty-one of the 100 indicators are multi-purpose, i.e. are used to monitor more than one SDG. The EU SDG indicator set will be open to regular reviews in line with future policy developments and will take into account new indicators as they become available with new methodologies, technologies and data sources.

Barbara Margarethe Kurkowiak, Markus Hametner, Asya Dimitrova, Renate Ruech (WU Vienna); Ariane De Rocchi, Anik Kohli, Bettina Rüegge, Gina Spescha and Myriam Steinem
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  • UNESCO. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • The Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP)

Sponsored by

  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry of Business and Employment. Department of Research and Universities
  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry for Foreign Action and Open Government