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The National Council for Sustainable Development was set up in January 2003 to enable a wide participation of actors in the elaboration of the NSDS. The Council’s aim is to bring together actors from civil society (e.g. NGOs, employers’ associations, enterprises, labour unions, the media and scientist) and territorial authorities to provide advice and submit proposals in the preparation, implementation and follow-up of SD policies.

The NCSD, set up in 2003, has been restructured in 2009 as a result of the ‘grenelle de l’environnement’ (2007-2008) follow-up.


The  National Environnement Roundtable which started during the summer of 2007, was an unprecedented multi-stakeholder consultation process. The outcomes have been integrated in the preparation of the NSDS. It brought together all the stakeholders dealing with environmental issues on a daily basis (central government, local authorities, NGOs, businesses, unions, etc.) throughout a five-fold democratic process: (1) Action propositions: Six working parties prepared the negotiations; (2) Public debate: meetings in French provinces, internet, consultation with scientific and institutional bodies, consultation with the Parliament; (3) Decisions and guidelines: Four roundtable discussions led to the adoption of 268 commitments in all sectors; (4) Operational phase: 34 operational working parties prepared implementation propositions; and (5) Legislative phase: Two bills have been voted by the Parliament. 


A second process broadened the consultation on SD issues in 2008-2009 for the elaboration of the NSDS. These results were subject to an internet-based consultation with civil society (open to every citizens) and with the Economic, Social and Environmental Committee. The new NCSD aims to provide advice and submit proposals in the preparation, implementation and follow-up of SD policies.

For a detailed documentation of all advisory and participatory councils (for SD and/or the environment) in this country, please go to the EEAC website at and click on one of the listed institutions.


This Country Profile has been last updated on: Wednesday, 22 May 2013

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