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ESDN Quarterly Report January 2018

Budget Provisions in the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs

by Eric Mulholland

This Quarterly Report focuses on the importance of aligning national budgets along the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs in order to help in their successful implementation. Within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, there is a reference made in paragraph 45 to the role that national budgets have in implementing the SDGs. Although the passage reflects more on the role and responsibility of parliaments in adopting national budgets, this can be seen as further stressing the importance with which budgets should be bestowed, and the serious effects they have on the implementation of the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda. Not only is the national budget important for the implementation of the SDGs at the national level, but it also is important, as can be seen from the passage below, in the implementation of the SDGs at the regional and local level:

“ยง45 We acknowledge also the essential role of national parliaments through their enactment of legislation and adoption of budgets and their role in ensuring accountability for the effective implementation of our commitments. Governments and public institutions will also work closely on implementation with regional and local authorities, subregional institutions, international institutions, academia, philanthropic organizations, volunteer groups and others”.

Chapter two will look into how the SDGs will be incorporated into the budgets of the European Union, as the European Union is often held to a very high standard by the global community with respect to sustainable development. Recently, the EU and the European Commission have been signaling the increasing importance the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs have, and have reaffirmed their desire to remain a frontrunner in its implementation.

Chapters three and four will be dedicated to taking stock of the current situation in Europe regarding national budgetary alignment along the SDGs. Information for the stocktaking exercise is based on European countries that have completed their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) for the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) meetings in New York. Chapter four will highlight good case examples of European countries that are actively pursuing national budgetary alignment along the SDGs.

In order to better understand the role of national budgets in the implementation of the SDGs, an understanding of what national budgets are and how the budgeting process works, is helpful in being able to better understand budgeting for the SDGs and sustainable development, in general, as budgeting for sustainable development has been in existence, having taken various forms, such as environmental fiscal reform, taxes, etc., before the advent of the SDGs.

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