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​The UN’s sustainable development goals in an EU context

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by the United Nations in 2015. It is based on 17 sustainable development goals(opens in new window) (SDGs) with 169 underlying targets tracked by 232 indicators. The aim of the Agenda is to achieve social, economic, and environmental sustainable development worldwide by 2030. 

sustainable development goals

The EU has around 100 SDG indicators, which are broadly aligned with the UN’s global indicators, but are not identical. This allows the EU to focus its SDG indicators on matters that are particularly relevant in a European context. The European Commission has been monitoring the implementation of the SDGs since 2017 through its annual SDG monitoring reports(opens in new window).

The relevance of SDGs to supreme audit institutions

The International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) established five key priorities in its 2023-2028 strategic plan(opens in new window). One of these key priorities is to contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

The supreme audit institutions (SAIs) have a valuable contribution to make through their audits. Consistent with their mandates and priorities, they can monitor implementation, track progress, and identify improvements across all SDGs. 

As an active member of the INTOSAI community, the European Court of Auditors aims to be at the forefront of the public audit profession. Our goal is to contribute to a more resilient and sustainable European Union that upholds the values on which it is based.

While we have not conducted any audits specifically focusing on SDG implementation, we have published a number of reports covering topics relevant to one or more SDGs. These concern a broad range of EU policies and programmes (see below) and are highlighted in our annual sustainability report.