TEPSA has coordinated a study requested by DEVE Committee of the European Parliament. The study was authored by James Mackie, a Visiting Professor in the International Relations and Diplomacy Studies Department of the College of Europe in Belgium, and Gill Allwood, a Professor at Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom and Visiting Professor in the International Relations and Diplomacy Studies Department of the College of Europe in Belgium. The study is entitled “The Implementation of the 2030 Agenda’s Principles of ‘Leaving-no-one-Behind’ and ‘Addressing the Needs of those Furthest Behind First’ in the EU’s Development Policy”.
The UN 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals includes SDG 10 on Reducing Inequalities as well as a commitment to Leave No-One Behind (LNOB). The European Union (EU) committed itself to achieving these goals both internally and, through its new 2017 European Consensus on Development, to support partners in their achievement worldwide. This study considers what progress the EU has made in addressing inequality, SDG 10 and the LNOB principle since then. The report undertakes an extensive literature review of the topic noting the importance of adopting a multidimensional approach that goes beyond financial aspects and looks at multiple sources of disadvantage and discrimination. It considers the trends in global poverty and inequality and notes in particular the rise of income and wealth inequality within countries over the last few decades. It also explores the impact of climate change and the COVID19 pandemic, both of which are unequally impacting countries around the world, and on groups and individuals within them. The study identifies a growing international consensus on both the importance of addressing inequality and the best policies to adopt. It concludes that the EU has actively participated in this debate and is committed to contributing further. Its policies could usefully be updated and strengthened in the light of COVID-19. The new EU Budget (2021-27) and Team Europe initiative should help with implementation, but mobilising and maintaining the necessary political will may prove to be the biggest challenge.