ESDNewsletter June 2007

Dear ESDN colleagues,

Due to an increasing number of news on sustainable development (SD) strategies in Europe, this ESDNewsletter is obviously longer than previous ones, but hopefully also richer regarding contents. However, the navigation below should enable you to select the items that are of most interest for you.

This ESDN Newsletter informs you about the following activities and topics on sustainable development (SD):


New ESDN Quarterly Report on Sustainability Impact Assessment

The latest ESDN Quarterly Report (QR) is dedicated to the topic “Sustainability Impact Assessment: Approaches and applications in Europe”. The report first provides a definition and overview of different IA approaches. Second, it describes the integrated IA method developed and applied by the European Commission. Finally, two case studies on Switzerland and Belgium show how IAs are applied to national policy-making.

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Documentation of the ESDN Conference ESB07

This year’s ESDN Conference “ESB07” was hosted by the German Council for SD on 3-5 June 2007 in Berlin. The conference section of the ESDN website features now the following event documentations:

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New “About us” section: 109 ESDN members from 31 countries

Apart from a portrait of the ESDN Steering Group and the ESDN Office Team, the newly designed section now shows that the ESDN currently has 109 Members from 31 countries and 19 associated partners. The members cover most EU Member States and several other countries.

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News on SD strategies in Europe:

Austria: Decision to prepare a federal SD strategy
In June 2006, the Austrian Council of Ministers has confirmed that the federal government should renews its current national SD strategy from 2002 by developing a federal SD strategy together with the provinces (“Laender”). The new federal SD strategy and a first action plan should be adopted in the course of 2008.

Bulgaria: National SD Council and Draft NSDS
The National SD Council (NSDC) of Bulgaria that was established in 2006 and that is chaired by the Minister of Economy and Energy has now presented a first draft of the Bulgarian NSDS (in Bulgarian). For more details on the Bulgarian NSDC, click here. For the draft NSDS, click here.

Czech Republic: Second NSDS Progress Report and renewed NSDS
The Second Progress Report on the Czech SD strategy is available in English since April 2007. The renewed NSDS has been subject to a public consultation process between May-June 2007 and should be adopted by the Czech Government in November 2007.

Estonia: National Progress Report of implementing the EU SDS
Estonia has recently completed its National Progress Report on the implementation of the EU SDS. As outlined in the Quarterly Report of March 2007, the National Progress Reports are part of the two-year reporting cycle of the EU SDS. All EU Member States were requested to deliver their reports by June 2007. More reports will be available soon in the country profiles on the ESDN homepage.

Finland: New chair of the National Commission on SD
In late April 2007, the new Finnish government has decided that Prime Minister Vanhanen will no longer chair the Finnish National Commission on SD (FNCSD). The government has appointed the Minister of Labour, Ms. Tarja Cronberg (Green party) as the new chair. Other ministers will still be involved in the FNCSD’s work.
In June 2007, the FNCSD established a new sub-committee on regional and local SD. It is chaired by the State Secretary from the newly established Ministry of Employment and Industries. The mandate of the sub-committee is to promote SD in regional and local administrations as well as in their cooperation with each other and with the state government.
For a detailed documentation of the FNCSD see a previous Quarterly Report. For a brief portrait of the FNCSD in the Finnish country profile, click here.

Germany: New SD Indicator Report
In April 2007, the SD Indicator Report 2006 for the German SD strategy was published by the Federal Statistical Office. The report covers the latest developments on SD in Germany with regard to the 21 indicators that have been identified in the strategy. The report is available as pdf in German only.

Hungary: News on the preparation of the first NSDS and SD Action Plan
After two rounds of inter-ministerial negotiations and stakeholder consultations, the Hungarian government is expected to approve the first Hungarian SD strategy in the next days, followed by a discussion of the strategy in parliament in autumn 2007. Its publication is scheduled for late 2007 or early 2008. In parallel to the parliamentary approval process, the first bi-annual SD Action Plan is scheduled to be approved by the government in early 2008.

Netherlands: Peer Review finalised
As reported earlier, the Netherlands started a peer review process in autumn 2006. On 21 June 2007, the review team presented the final Peer Review Report. Further information on the process is available in the Dutch country profile (see in particular the regular updates).

Norway: Peer review finalised
As reported earlier, the Norwegian Ministry of Finance initiated a peer review of the Norwegian SD strategy in spring 2006 (in December 2006, R. Steurer and G. Berger from the ESDN Office gave a presentation on peer reviews and the ESDN). The peer review report was published in March 2007. A summary of the peer review is now available in the Norwegian country profile.

Scotland: Quarterly SD Strategy Progress Report and SD indicator set
In March 2007, Scotland published its latest quarterly progress report on implementing its SD Strategy. Since March 2007, a new website informs about the SD indicator set used to monitor the Scottish SD Strategy.

Slovenia: Development Report 2007 and changed responsibilities
The monitoring of the Slovenian Development Strategy is documented in development reports. The Development Report 2007 is now available in English.
On 14 June 2007, the Slovenian Government put the Government Office for Growth in charge of coordinating SD activities. Consequently, the Minister of the Government Office for Growth is now also the chair of the Council for SD (for more details, see the Slovenian country profile).

Switzerland: New documents on communicating and implementing SD
In May 2007, the Swiss government published a document on “communicating SD in society” (available in German and French) and a guide about SD policy implementation efforts in Switzerland (“Sustainable development in Switzerland – A guide”, available in English, German, French and Italian). Both documents are available in the Swiss country profile.

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Upcoming event: Workshop on “The Role of Government in (C)SR” in Vienna

On 3 November 2007, the government stakeholder group of the ISO 26000 process (aiming at widely accepted guidelines for social responsibility/SR) will hold a workshop in Vienna on “The Role of Government in (C)SR”. The event will take place in the context of the 5th ISO Social Responsibility Plenary Meeting that will take place in Vienna a few days later. If you are interested in the workshop, please save the date. Further information (including the programme) will be circulated in the next ESDNewsletter in September.

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We wish you all a relaxing summer time!

The ESDN Office Team at the Research Institute for Managing Sustainability

Reinhard Steurer
Gerald Berger
Markus Hametner
Ursula Kopp
Andre Martinuzzi

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