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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 2020, “The European Green Deal: Our Pact for the Future”, 12-13 October 2020, Berlin, Germany

The ESDN Conference 2020 will take place on 12-13 October 2020 as a virtual event! The Conference was scheduled to take place in Berlin, Germany, but the current COVID-19 situation has made a physical presence at the Conference no longer possible. Therefore, the ESDN Conference 2020 will now be fully virtual and will no longer be a hybrid event.

The Conference is being organized by the ESDN in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. The Conference will be a 2-day event of the German EU Council 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 “The European Green Deal: Our Pact for the Future” and will focus on the European Green Deal in the perspective of the needs for a sustainable transformation of Europe and especially of the expectations of the next generation as advocates of change – and the future. To that effect, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment  is organizing a European Youth Camp in the run-up to the ESDN Conference in an effort to make sure young people can also discuss the challenges ahead. Results of the Youth Camp will be presented during the Conference. The Conference itself will focus on many topics relating to the Green Deal and will have a very future-oriented focus regarding sustainable development. Amidst the troubling times of the Corona-Pandemic, topics include how to address future challenges to sustainable development and what that means in concrete terms. The Conference will also look into repercussions the European Green Deal might have on other European Commission priorities, such as its ‘Farm to Fork Strategy’, Sustainable Growth, Democracy, Sustainable Finance and Resilience. It will also look at ‘missing links’, and thus discuss aspects of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that are not included in the Green Deal. The Conference is split up into the following Sessions, which will all be conducted in English with the exception of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s speech, which will be translated from German into English.

Session 1: Our Pact for the Future - Inspiration and Intent

  • Results from the Youth Camp
  • The European Green Deal

Session 2: The Future of Sustainable Development and how to Address Challenges

  • Panel Discussion
  • Development Perspective and the Global South

Session 3: Sustainable Future in Concrete Terms

  • Keynote speech by Chancellor Angela Merkel
  • Interactive Discussions

Session 4: Breakout Groups – Repercussions of the Green Deal and European Commission Priorities

  • Sustainable Growth: Ending the Dogma of Endless Growth
  • Sustainable Food: Farm to Fork Strategy
  • A New Push for Democracy
  • Sustainable Finance: Integration of SDGs into National Budgets
  • Resilience and SD: Lessons Still Being Learned from COVID-19
  • Future Mobility: Mobility of the Future
  • Missing links: Elements from the 2030 Agenda not yet included in the EGD

Session 5: European Futures - Strategic Foresight

  • Panel Discussion with Sustainable Development Representatives

As regards the virtual part of the Conference, we will have a virtual landing page allowing participants easy access to all information – the agenda, speaker backgrounds, a digital pinboard and links to the plenary webstream and breakout sessions (due to technical reasons the access to the latter ones will have to be limited).

As a first step, we encourage all ESDN Members who are interested in attending the Conference to please use the following link: to register for the Conference.

Despite the impacts that COVID-19 is having across Europe and the world, we hope to have a great Conference! We look forward to seeing you virtually! We will be sending all participants updates should there be any new changes.



Close current view

Helsinki 2019: Towards a Sustainable Europe 2030 – From Reflection to Action

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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