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Mechanisms of Vertical Integration


National — sub-national linkages

Prior to the elaboration of the new NSDS for 2010-2013, a country-wide broad stakeholder consultation process was organised, called ‘grenelle de l’environnement’, which started in summer 2007 and ended in October 2007. During the following months, more than 800 people regularly met in 34 working groups, including representatives from the sub-national levels. The results of the working groups, 268 commitments, have been integrated in the NSDS 2010-2013 and the representatives from the sub-national levels are now involved in the follow-up committee "comité national du développement durable et du Grenelle de l'environnement (CNDDGE)".

The NSDS 2003 included the objective to establish 500 LA 21 initiatives within 5 years. As part of the revised NSDS process in 2006, a ‘framework reference’ for LA 21 initiatives was developed by the national level in cooperation with NGOs and representatives of the sub-national levels. The reference document includes criteria for local authorities to fulfil to be recognised as ‘quality initiative’. The criteria are closely related to the EU SDS and the NSDS and, thus, should guarantee vertical coherence of all actions. The criteria also outline important governance processes. Overall, the framework document defines the SD concept, is applicable on all sub-national levels and outlines how stakeholder participation can be organised. Therefore, it represents a national guidance document for sub-national levels. At the end of 2012, around 320 LA 21 initiatives had been recognised by the national level on the principles outlined in the "framework reference" document. The 2010-2013 NSDS objective is to reach 1000 LA 21 initiatives, including 250 ones recognised by the national level.

Generally, the 'framework reference' establish a clear link between the NSDS and the local LA 21 activities.

EU linkages

The renewed EU Strategy for Sustainable Development (EU SDS) that was adopted in June 2006 foresees that Member States bi-annually report about how they address the priorities of the EU SDS. France has published its first national report on implementing the EU SDS in April 2007.


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

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