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ESDNewsletter June 2008

This ESDNewsletter informs you about the following topics and activities on SD in Europe:

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New ESDN Quarterly Report on "Public policies on CSR in EU Member States"

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is 'a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis'. Since the European Commission has published a Green Book on the topic in 2001 and a Communication in 2002, CSR has gained significant importance across Europe, also as a new field of public policies.

The current Quarterly Report June 2008 describes how EU Member States aim to facilitate CSR by raising awareness, by advancing Sustainable Public Procurement, and by fostering Socially Responsible Investment. The report is based on a 2-year research project on CSR policies in the EU that was commissioned by DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, and conducted by RIMAS, the Institute that operates the ESDN Office. It provides a systematic description of CSR policies in Europe, summarises findings of extensive empirical research, and draws evidence-based conclusions.

>> Read the current ESDN Quarterly Report

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News on the governance of SD from European countries and the European Commission

This part of the ESDNewsletter provides a regular update on the governance of SD across Europe.

Austria: Further development of the Austrian NSDS
Based on the NSDS of 2002 and the renewed EU SDS, the Conference of Regional First Ministers and the Federal Government decided to develop a a common strategy of the national and regional level. As part of this strategy, common SD activities of the national and sub-national levels will be included in work programmes which will also define measures for the various political levels. The adoption of the common SD Strategy (in German referred to as ÖSTRAT) and the first work programme are scheduled for late 2008.

Czech Republic: Revision process of the Czech NSDS in 2007-2009
The publication of a revised version of the Czech Republic NSDS that was scheduled for 2007 has been postponed to late 2009. As the Czech Governmental Council for SD didn't find consensus on the final draft strategy document, it was submitted to the Czech Government as an interim material for the revision of the strategy whose date for completion has been postponed to 30 November 2009. The document is available in Czech only and will serve as a basis for further work on the revision in 2008-2009.

Germany: Public consultation on draft NSDS progress report
The German government has initiated a public consultation process on the draft 2008 NSDS progress report. Citizens are invited to contribute to the progress report by making comments and suggestions until 27 June 2008. Further information on the consultation process is available on the German government's website (in German). A prominent comment has already been issued by the German Council for SD (Rat für Nachhaltige Entwicklung); the statement can be downloaded here (in German).

France: “Grenelle of the Environment” multi-stakeholder consultation process for preparing new NSDS
The “Grenelle of the Environment” is an unprecedented consultation process, which brings together all the stakeholders dealing with sustainable development issues on a daily basis: central government, local authorities, NGOs, businesses, unions, etc. The process has started in summer 2007 and is now reaching its final stage. The results of this constructive dialogue will be taken into account and at least be partly integrated in the new NSDS, which should be published by 2009. Further information is available on the website http://www.legrenelle-environnement.fr.

Norway: New NSDS available in English
The Norwegian Strategy for Sustainable Development, which was published as part of the 2008 National Budget, is now available in English and can be downloaded from the website of the Ministry of Finance.

Switzerland: New NSDS adopted by Federal Council in April 2008
Ten years after its first NSDS, the Swiss Federal Council has adopted a new National SD Strategy in April 2008. The new strategy includes revised conceptual guidelines and an action plan for the 2008-2011 legislative period. The document is currently available in German, French and Italian; an English translation is scheduled for August 2008.

European Commission revises its Impact Assessment Guidelines
The European Commission is currently revising its Impact Assessment Guidelines and has launched a public consultation on the draft revised text to gather stakeholders' feedback. The public consultation is running until 25 July 2008. The revised guidelines can be consulted on http://ec.europa.eu/governance/impact/consultation/ia_consultation_en.htm. All impact assessments carried out by the Commission services in the recent years are available on http://ec.europa.eu/governance/impact/practice_en.htm.

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We wish you all a relaxing summer time!

The ESDN Office Team at the Research Institute for Managing Sustainability

Reinhard Steurer
Gerald Berger
Markus Hametner
Ursula Kopp
Andre Martinuzzi

http://www.sd-network.eu

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