Transforming our world: Europe and the road to 2030

This is a story about the world we want to live in ten years from now. About how Europeans are working together to create that world, bringing real change not only to our own communities but also to millions of people around the globe. It is the story of all those people. And it is also your story. Our guide is the 2030 Agenda, a set of 17 ambitious goals for making our world a greener, fairer place. These are the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs.

 

The Goals belong to the whole world, but we Europeans are their strongest supporters. Together we invest as much in building Partnerships for our Planet and its People, for Peace and for Prosperity as the rest of the world combined.

 

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People

Coronavirus has disrupted all our lives, but schoolchildren have been particularly hard hit. When schools started to reopen in some places in September 2020, more than 800 million young people, almost half the world’s student population, were still unable to attend classes. We believe that no child should be deprived of a future, even by a crisis like this, which is why we are leading the global response to the pandemic. But securing a decent education for everyone is not an emergency action, it is a long-term commitment. Over the past five years we Europeans have helped to get 68 million children around the world into school – more than the population of Austria and Italy combined.

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Planet

Climate change is another global threat that doesn’t respect borders. If we and future generations are to have a chance of leading happy and healthy lives, we have to act now, together, to take better care of our planet. Not only will Europe be the first climate neutral continent, we are also helping 100 countries take action on climate change, and protecting over 46 million hectares of fragile ecosystems around the world – an area almost the size of Spain.

 
 
 

Prosperity

European programmes are unlocking investment to create jobs in developing countries, getting tens of thousands of small businesses off the ground using green production processes, and providing sustainable energy for some 30 million people in the last five years. That’s the equivalent of the entire population of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

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Peace

Neither our planet nor its people can prosper without peace. Peace is the inspiration for our own European Union, and it is at the heart of our determination to foster just and inclusive societies everywhere. Europe is the biggest supporter of human rights and democracy around the world. In the last five years, we Europeans have supported free and fair elections in 38 countries, and our peacebuilding work has touched the lives of over three million people – that’s the entire population of Berlin.

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Partnership

As the saying goes: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. We can’t change the world on our own. Our future is bound to that of our partners. Working together with governments, businesses, international and grassroots organisations around the world, the European Union helped immunize 64 million infants in a single year (the combined population of Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary), led international funding for COVID-19 vaccine research, and is the leading contributor to COVAX, the global initiative for equitable access to those vaccines.

We’re getting there

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