European Commission reflection paper towards a sustainable Europe by 2030.

IF – 02/2019

In the current legislative term, there has been a strong tendency to give the topic of sustainability a higher priority in terms of long-term European policy. In addition to traditional environmental issues, other policy areas such as economic, fiscal and social policy are also more closely involved.


Therefore, the focus of the coming legislative term will be to raise awareness in all policy areas in order to ensure sustainable, positive economic change and a stable social system for the next generations. As part of making a significant contribution to a more sustainable Europe, the European Commission follows the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2017 White Paper on the Future of Europe, which serves as the basis for the reflection paper published at the end of January.


The aim of the European Commission’s Reflection Paper: Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030 is to lay the foundation for further discussion within Europe. Therefore, the paper includes the potential priorities of the next European Commission, because the results of the debates will be brought together in a strategic agenda for the next legislative term 2019-2024. They will be published in June 2019, that is, after the European elections. Significant parts will certainly flow into the next work programme of the new Commission.


The reflection paper outlines three scenarios, which also directly affect the German social insurance system and the people it insures. The European Union is tackling various issues such as the impact and challenges of demographic change, increased need for long-term care, tighter public finances and the importance of guaranteeing high-quality healthcare.


The scenarios address the implementation of policy objectives in line with the Sustainable Development Goals such as better social protection and tackling poverty. The European strategy for sustainable development aims to show the way forward for the Member States in all policy areas.


The reflection paper highlights how important and closely linked social and economic convergence are at European level in order to maintain a sustainable Europe with high social and health standards for citizens in the future.