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ESDN Conferences

A look at the history of the ESDN reveals that annual conferences have played a prominent role in facilitating networking between European SD practitioners and policy advisors. This section of the website provides a one-stop-shop documentation of all ESDN Conferences so far. Please click on one of the conferences for more details:

ESDN Conference 2019, “Towards a Sustainable Europe 2030 – From Reflection to Action”, 30-31 October 2019, Helsinki, Finland

The ESDN Conference 2019, which will take place in Helsinki, Finland from 30-31 October, 2019. It is being organized by the ESDN in cooperation with the Finnish Prime Minister’s Office. The conference will be a 1.5-day event (30 October is a full day and 31 October is half-day that runs until 13:00) and will be organized as an official event of the Finnish EU Presidency. The conference will bring together sustainable development policymakers and experts from different stakeholder groups from all over Europe.

The title of this year’s Conference is “Towards a Sustainable Europe 2030 – From Reflection to Action”. The Conference will focus on many topics relating to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs in Europe and take stock of where Europe stands after four years of implementation, which will feature the experiences that European countries have had in that regard. Other Conference topics will include the linking of the 2030 Agenda to economic reality and looking at meta-governance for sustainability. In addition, the Conference will focus on various challenges for Europe in reaching the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs and will delve deeper into 5 key themes: Circular Economy; Citizens’ Europe; Economy of Well-Being; Sustainable Finance; and Global Responsibility. Please find here the PDFConference Draft Agenda (as of 20 September 2019) and a PDFConference Flyer.

The Conference will be comprised of three sessions:

Session 1: Taking stock on the implementation at the global, European and national level: 4 years after adoption of the 2030 Agenda

  • Focus on the global level regarding the implementation of the 2030 Agenda
  • Focus on the EU level with the new European Commission
  • Focus on European national level experiences in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the assessment of progress by looking at key successes and challenges
  • Focus on how other stakeholder groups are addressing implementation

Session 2: Transformative rather than incremental changes for sustainable development – What does it mean in terms of economics and governance for SD?

  • Linking the 2030 Agenda to economic realities
  • Meta-governance for Sustainability: The full toolbox in implementing the SDGs

Session 3: Key challenges for Europe in reaching the SDGs and 2030 Agenda

  • Key Themes for Europe in the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda/SDGs
  • Parallel discussion streams on the key themes

Conference registration is already open and will be open until Wednesday, October 16th, 2019. Please register here:

Back-to-back event with the ESDN Conference 2019:

„Beyond Growth – Indicators and politics for people and planet”, Helsinki, 28-29 October 2019”
An international knowledge co-creation event Beyond Growth – Indicators and politics for people and planet will be organized just before the ESDN Conference 2019. The objective of the event is to push the discussion on the beyond GDP measures into action in the EU policies. The event is organized by Finnish Development NGOs Fingo in collaboration with the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development. In case you are interested in participating in this event, please contact


Close current view

Vienna 2018: Stakeholder-Policy Cooperation in the Age of the SDGs: What new approaches are required to be successful?

Prague 2017: Strategic Governance for SD: New developments and approaches in the context of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs

Bern 2016: Vertical integration in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for SD: Addressing the role of sub-national and local levels

Luxembourg 2015: Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the EU and national level: Designing effective governance architectures and strategic frameworks

Rome 2014: A renewed policy framework for sustainable development - The international SD agenda and its impact on Europe

Vienna 2013: Vienna+10: National Sustainable Development Strategies in Europe – Taking stock, new developments and future challenges

Copenhagen 2012: Rio+20 and its implications for Sustainable Development Policy at the EU and national level

Szentendre 2011: Framing and Focussing: European Resource Policies in the Context of Sustainable Development

Ghent 2010: Towards an Economy compatible with Sustainable Development Principles

Prague 2009: Options and Opportunities for the future EU Sustainable Development Strategy

Paris 2008: Coordinating SCP and CSR policies with Sustainable Development Strategies

Berlin 2007: European Sustainability Berlin 2007

Salzburg 2006: Sustainable Development goes Mozart

Windsor 2005: EU sustainable development networking event

Kinsale 2004: Comhar Conference

Vienna 2003: Sustainable Development in an enlarged Union

The Hague 2002: National Strategies for Sustainable Development: “Facts, Faces and Future Challenges”


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