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Since 1992, the community Hub of Libraries in Europe!

Striving towards an equitable, democratic and sustainable society

The European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations is an independent umbrella association of library, information, documentation and archive associations and institutions in Europe.

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

1. EU Programmes likely to be relevant for libraries

EU Enlargement Package

Strategy and Reports

EU Aid Volunteers

EU Aid Volunteers brings together volunteers and organisations from different countries, providing practical support to humanitarian aid projects and contributing to strengthening the local capacity and resilience of disaster-affected communities. Participants in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative must be over 18 years of age and be a citizen of an EU Member State or a long-term resident in the EU. The support package to volunteers while on deployment includes accommodation, travel, insurance, ongoing learning, development, a monthly allowance while on deployment, and a resettlement allowance to help with expenses on returning home.

EU Blending Framework

Investment needs in EU partner countries are substantial. Government and donor funds are far from sufficient to cover these needs. Countries need to attract additional public and private finance to drive economic growth as a basis for poverty reduction.

The Agenda for Change emphasises the support of inclusive growth and job creation as a key priority of EU external cooperation. In this context, blending is recognised as an important vehicle for leveraging additional resources and increasing the impact of EU aid.

Skills and Vocational Education and Training – International Cooperation and Development

Quality and relevant vocational education and training, or VET, can provide people, and especially youth, with the knowledge, skills and competencies required for the jobs of today or tomorrow. The provision of relevant job skills can therefore be a robust means of empowering people to seize employment opportunities or equip them for self-employment. The VET Toolbox works with partner countries to strengthen their capacity to implement VET and labour market reforms, enhancing labour market relevance and employability for all.

Local Authorities – International Cooperation and Development

In the past two decades, the importance of Local Authorities (LAs) and Associations of Local Authorities (ALAs) in addressing the complexities of sustainable development and fighting poverty have been increasingly recognised, by both the EU and its partner countries. Indeed, as the public institutions closest to citizens, local authorities hold responsibility to execute a mandate to satisfy their constituencies’ needs, mainly through the provision of basic services. They have opportunities to mobilise their local communities, in most of the cases, while acting as catalysts for change.

Local Authorities – International Cooperation and Development

In the past two decades, the importance of Local Authorities (LAs) and Associations of Local Authorities (ALAs) in addressing the complexities of sustainable development and fighting poverty have been increasingly recognised, by both the EU and its partner countries. Indeed, as the public institutions closest to citizens, local authorities hold responsibility to execute a mandate to satisfy their constituencies’ needs, mainly through the provision of basic services. They have opportunities to mobilise their local communities, in most of the cases, while acting as catalysts for change.

Fight against all discriminations – International cooperation and development

As part of its development cooperation, the EU supports the action of anti-discrimination movements, namely the ones focusing on the rights of women, children, LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people and other minorities. It also supports initiatives defending the rights of indigenous peoples.

Sustainable and responsible supply chains - International cooperation and development

International manufacturing is increasingly organised in Global Value Chains (GVC). This means that when you buy a shirt in Europe, it may have been sewn in Cambodia, using cloth manufactured in China from cotton grown in Uzbekistan and coloured with dyes from India. As a result, individual choices made by consumers in Europe may have consequences that impact on the lives of workers and communities in multiple countries across the world.

Climate change, disaster risk reduction and desertification – International cooperation and development

Climate change is happening now; it already affects communities around the globe. Unless it is tackled, it could undermine the world's efforts for development.

The EU is a strong international supporter of sustainable development. To address climate change challenges in this context, it backs a wide variety of activities dealing with issues such as adaptation, mitigation, disaster risk reduction and desertification.

Human dignity – International cooperation and development

The fight against torture and the abolition of the death penalty are two of the long-standing policy priorities of the European Union (EU) and are essential for the enhancement of human dignity. The EU is a leading institutional actor and donor in these areas.

Fight against torture

The prevention and eradication of all forms of torture and ill-treatment worldwide represents one of the main objectives of the EU’s human rights policy

Fight against death penalty

The EU holds a strong and principled position against the death penalty in all circumstances and for all cases.

Empowering civil society in partner countries – International cooperation and development

An empowered civil society is a crucial component of any democratic system and is an asset in itself. It represents and fosters pluralism and can contribute to more effective policies, equitable and sustainable development and inclusive growth. It is an important player in fostering peace and in conflict resolution. By articulating citizens' concerns, civil society organisations (CSOs) are active in the public arena, engaging in initiatives to further participatory democracy and governance.

The EU considers Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to include all non-State, not-for-profit structures, non-partisan and non-violent, through which people organise to pursue shared national, regional and international levels, they comprise urban and rural, formal and informal organisations.

European Development policy

EU development policy seeks to foster the sustainable development of developing countries, with the primary aim of eradicating poverty. It is a cornerstone of EU relations with the outside world and contributes to the objectives of EU external action – alongside foreign, security and trade policy (and international aspects of other policies like environment, agriculture and fisheries).

EU funding for climate action in developing countries

Significant financial resources are needed to implement the Paris Agreement and help developing countries deal with climate change.  The EU, its Member States and the European Investment Bank are together the biggest contributor of public climate finance to developing countries, giving €20.4 billion in 2017 alone. They are also the world’s top provider of official development assistance (a total €74.4 billion in 2018), with climate action being increasingly integrated into the assistance.

Under the Paris Agreement, countries committed to make finance flows consistent with a low-emission, climate-resilient pathway, to help achieve the long-term climate goals. In this context, the EU has launched an ambitious Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth. The EU also supports developing countries in improving their conditions for mobilising low-carbon finance.

Private sector development

The economic and social impact of private sector development can be substantial. As a driver of inclusive growth and job creation, responsible for 84% of GDP and 90% of jobs in developing countries, the private sector is ideally placed to improve the lives of the poor and deliver on the promise of sustainable and socially inclusive economic development.

Over the last decade, European Commission support for private sector development has averaged EUR 350 million per year and the current Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014-2020 contains approximately EUR 2 billion for private sector development. Providing over 50% of all global development aid, the EU and its Member States are collectively the world's leading donor.

European Research Area

The European Research Area (ERA) is a unified research area open to the world and based on the internal market. The ERA enables free circulation of researchers, scientific knowledge and technology.

Six priorities of ERA:

  • more effective national research systems
  • optimal transnational cooperation and competition, including optimal transnational cooperation and competition and research infrastructures
  • an open labour market for researchers
  • gender equality and gender mainstreaming in research
  • optimal circulation, access to and transfer of scientific knowledge including knowledge circulation and open access
  • international cooperation

2. SDG17 - oriented projects and Best Practices

Several library organisations operate at international level. Halfway between a humanitarian NGO and a social enterprise,Bibliothèques sans Frontières helps local and national governments diffuse knowledge where it is most needed. In spite of being excellent places for personal growth and collective development, libraries are too often absent where they could have the most impact. BsF works in 23 languages and in 50 countries across the globe on issues such as education, health, employment, citizenship, environment and sustainability, disability, and technology.

The Fondation de Luxembourg, which also enables other Sheltered Foundations to be set up under its aegis, distributes funding from different donors in the following areas: Health and Science, Poverty Reduction and Social Cohesion, Universal Education, Biodiversity and Climate Change. One of the projects of the Fondation de Luxembourg, for instance, has been to acquire a “bibliobus” to combat illiteracy in Cambodia (meeting SDGs 4, 10 and 17).


3. Opportunities for library funding

The “European Territorial Cooperation” (ETC) is an objective of the European Union’s Cohesion Policy, serving its ultimate goal to strengthen the economic and social cohesion of the Union. 

This objective is best known as Interreg programme. ETC provides a framework for the implementation of joint actions and policy exchanges between national, regional and local actors from different Member States. The overarching objective of European Territorial Cooperation is to promote a harmonious economic, social and territorial development of the Union as a whole. Interreg is built around three strands of cooperation: cross-border (Interreg A), transnational (Interreg B) and interregional (Interreg C).

4. Main Eurostat Indicators

Key trends in Partnerships for the goals show the following evidence (Eurostat Report, pp. 329 and ss):

  • The EU supports country-led development through a range of financial support mechanisms;
  • Official development assistance is a long struggle to meet targets;
  • The EU remains the world’s biggest Official development assistance donor;
  • The EU particularly supports least developed countries;
  • The EU seeks coherence between all financial flows to developing countries;
  • EU imports from developing countries have more than doubled;
  • Financial stability has been found after the economic crisis;
  • ‘Greening’ the taxation system remains a challenge.


Goal 17’s attainment is monitored through the following main indicators: Source: EU SDG Indicator set 2020:

Goal 17’s attainment is monitored through the following main indicators



5. Library Indicators

Library Indicators enabling the evaluation of library performances and how they can match SDG indicators.

A report on Library indicators and SDGs has been released by the ELSA working Group: "Towards the implementation of SDG Indicators in European Libraries"



Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

"Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development"


The world today is more interconnected than ever before. The SDGs can only be realised with a strong commitment to global partnership and cooperation. The EU has long been committed to global partnership by supporting less-developed economies through official development assistance. Over the past decade, there has been a shift in the balance of roles, from donor–recipient towards a more equal partnership. Goal 17 calls for a global partnership for sustainable development. The goal highlights the importance of global macroeconomic stability and the need to mobilise financial resources for developing countries from international sources, as well as through strengthened domestic capacities for revenue collection.

The Commission has launched a multi-stakeholder platform on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will support and advise the Commission and all stakeholders involved on the implementation of the SDGs at Union level. Beyond its borders, the EU will contribute to strengthening the 2030 Agenda's means of implementation – including trade, finance, capacity building and/or science, technology and innovation – through the European development policyNeighbourhood policy and Enlargement policy.

Targets and Indicators:


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