Policy context

Sustainable Development Strategy

Five years after the Göteborg European Council [pdf 84 Kb] (June 2001), the Heads of States and Governments under the Austrian Presidency renewed the EU Sustainable Development Strategy (EU SDS) [pdf 222 Kb] in June 2006. This Strategy calls for an integrated approach to policy making and a gradual change in our current unsustainable consumption and production patterns.

In order to do so, the renewed EU SDS identifies 7 key challenges:

  • Climate change and clean energy
  • Sustainable transport
  • Sustainable production and consumption
  • Better management of natural resources
  • Public health threats
  • Social inclusion, demography and migration
  • Fighting global poverty

As foreseen in the EU SDS, national sustainable development strategies (SDS) have been developed in most countries of the European Union. Progress in the implementation of the Strategy is monitored within a biannual cycle: the latest EU SDS progress report [pdf 61 Kb] was published in October 2007.

Click on the map below to and learn about national sustainable development policies.

To read more about sustainable development in EU policy in general and activities in Member States, please visit the European Portal on Sustainable Development (EPSD).

Further useful links:

The European Sustainable Development Network (ESDN): This initiative of the 2006 Austrian EU Presidency brings together national policymakers from across Europe. The ESDN provides regularly updated country profiles.

National Strategies for Sustainable Development: This project, coordinated by the OECD/DAC, aims to encourage the implementation of national sustainable development strategies across the world. Some examples of non-EU sustainable development strategies are provided.

Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (nrg4SD): this network – formed by the regional governments that attended the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002) –shares information and experience about sustainable development policy making at the regional level of governance. The website provides information on the regions' sustainable development policies.

Intergroup on Sustainable Development (ISD): this group provides a forum for European Parliament Members to learn about, debate and form policies geared towards sustainable development in a cross-sectoral and cross-party manner, making use of outside expertise and the participation of stakeholders.