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Mechanisms of Vertical Integration


National — sub-national linkages

For the 2002 NSDS, ‘reference groups’ were established. These groups involved a number of different stakeholders, including sub-national representatives. Ahead of the 2004 NSDS revision municipal and county councils, government authorities and individual citizens in Sweden were invited to contribute their views. The amended strategy from 2006 was developed by four different working groups with participation from different ministries. A coordination unit for sustainable development, with staff from five ministries led and coordinated the work of SD in the government offices.

The 2006 elaborated Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS) presents a set of indicators, developed by Statistics Sweden and a working group that involved cooperation between political levels. In the development of the SD indicators a ‘reference group’ of stakeholders was established as well, to contribute to important work of defining meaningful indicators. The main objective of the indicators is to measure the SD activities of local authorities in order to compare them (benchmarking) i.e. the indicators are meant to be used at local level.

The Council for SD, which existed between 2005-2007, was a platform for the link between the different political levels. The Council had about 12 members, including one representative of the sub-national levels. The Council organised seminars and regular exchange between the different political levels. The Commission on SD replaced the Council 2007-2009.

National conferences, the so-called ‘Envision’ conferences, take place biannually. They have been organised by the City of Västerås, the County Council and the Regional Administrative Board of Västmanland in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, the Association of Municipalities and other sub-national stakeholders. The conferences function as a platform for exchange and offers a possibility of cooperation between the political levels.

The Government has appointed a Delegation for Sustainable Cities for a two-year period 2008 – 10. The delegation will bring together government, industry and municipalities in a national platform for sustainable urban development. The aim is to stimulate urban development projects that both serve to enhance the environment and climate change mitigation as well as to facilitate Swedish environmental technologies export. The ambition is that by using advanced technologies and good planning achieve visions for future cities and sustainable housing solutions in individual neighbourhoods, districts and local communities.

In 2000 the Government summoned a National Committee to implement and develop Agenda 21 and Habitat. The committee submitted its final report in 2003. The report describes future challenges and proposed measures. Currently the municipalities work on LA 21 initiatives. However, several of the municipalities are developing more comprehensive SD strategies.

Sweden has 16 environmental quality objectives for the future state of the national environment. These goals – adopted by the Swedish Parliament, the Riksdag – are intended to ensure that, within one generation, the country’s major environmental problems have been solved. The environmental quality objectives describe a state of the environment that is sustainable in the long term. They are a promise to future generations of clean air, healthy living environments and rich contact with nature.

The objectives have served as signposts for environmental action in Sweden since 1999. In June 2010 the Swedish Parliament adopted a Government bill on a new target structure for environmental work, a new organisation and a new basis for assessment of the environmental quality objectives A Parliamentarian committee has been set up to advise the Government on how the environmental quality objectives can be reached. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for the follow-up of the objectives.

In 2008 the Swedish government presented six identified global challenges that constitute the base of a policy for global development. The policy is formulated in a communication Global Challenges –Our responsibility that addresses the question of how Sweden effectively can contribute to equitable, sustainable global development that will enable poor people to benefit more fully from the globalization process. The policy for global development includes effective development cooperation of high quality and a coherence policy embracing all policy areas. The Government Offices in Sweden is working in accordance with the policy to undertake coherent action to achieve the policy’s objective of promoting equitable and sustainable global development. The aim is helping poor countries to meet challenges specific to them, promoting synergies between policy areas, remedying policies that hold up development in Sweden and the EU as well as tackling global challenges that hinder equitable and sustainable development.


EU linkages

The renewed EU Strategy for Sustainable Development (EU SDS) that was adopted in June 2006 foresees that Member States bi-annually report on how they address the priorities of the EU SDS. Sweden has published its first national report on implementing the EU SDS in June 2007. During the Swedish Presidency of the European Union a follow up of the EU SDS was made and a report was submitted to the Council.




This Country Profile has been last updated on: Tuesday, 26 June 2012

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