ESDNewsletter September 2007

This ESDNewsletter informs you about the following topics and activities on SD in Europe:

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New ESDN Quarterly Report on Strategic Approaches to Climate Change in Europe

The ESDN Quarterly Report September 2007 provides an overview of strategic approaches to climate change in Europe. First, the report introduces some key scientific reports on climate change that inform political action and briefly portrays the UN climate change regime (UNFCCC and Kyoto). Second, it describes the EU’s climate change approach and the latest Greenhouse Gas emission trends, suggesting that significant additional efforts are needed in numerous countries if the EU-15 want to meet their Kyoto reduction target of -8%. Based on a comprehensive review of all SD strategies in the EU-27 and other European countries, the report then gives a complete picture of climate change policy objectives and indicators in the context of SD strategies. Fourth, the report provides a list of climate change strategies in Europe, complemented with a portrait of the climate strategies of Sweden and the UK – two EU-15 countries that have the best climate policy performance with respect to their Kyoto emission reduction targets.

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News on SD strategies from 7 European countries and the EU SDS process

By highlighting new entries in the country profiles at the ESDN homepage, this section provides a regular update on key SD strategy features across Europe, such as new strategy documents, mechanisms of horizontal and vertical integration, participatory arrangements, evaluation/reviewing activities and strategy monitoring with SD indicators (click here for more details on these strategy features).

National progress reports on the implementation of the EU SDS from 13 Member States: According to the governance cycle of the renewed EU SDS, Member States submitted their first progress report to the European Commission earlier this year (for an overview of the EU SDS process in the Member States, please see the ESDN Quarterly Report March 2007). Currently, reports from the following Member States are available in the “vertical integration”-section of the respective country profiles: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Sweden and the UK.

European Commission: Progress Report on EU SDS and new SD indicators
The European Commission will publish a progress report on the implementation of the EU SDS in late October or early November 2007. The report is drafted by all Commission services under the coordination of the Secretariat General, and it will be based on the progress reports submitted by the Member States earlier this year (see previous news item). A new list of SD indicators will be included in the Annex of the report. In late November/early December 2007, Eurostat will release the 2nd Monitoring Report based on EU SD indicators.

Cyprus: Draft NSDS currently under consultation
Cyprus has drafted its first NSDS, and the draft is now under consultation until the end of October 2007. After the consultation phase, the NSDS needs to be approved by the Council of Ministers. The final version of the NSDS will be published later this year. A summary of the draft NSDS has been translated into English and can be found in the country profile of Cyprus.

Netherlands: Peer review finalised and lessons learned
As reported in the ESDNewsletter in June, the peer review of the Dutch NSDS has come to an end with the presentation of the final report on June 21 (the report “A New Sustainable Development Strategy: An opportunity Not To Be Missed” with 46 recommendations can be downloaded here). More recently, Ingeborg Niestroy, Secretary General of the EEAC, who was an observer to the peer review , has summarised some lessons learned from this process, particularly aimed to inform SD councils when asked by their governments to organise a peer review. To view the report, please click here.

Serbia: Launch of public debate on draft SD strategy
After a consultation phase (August-September 2007) during which all government ministries and nine selected NGOs were invited to provide comments, Serbia has drafted its first SD strategy. On 25 September 2007, the draft strategy was presented to the public and the public debate was launched.

Slovakia: Implementation of the SD Action Plan
Like in other countries, the Slovakian NSDS is implemented with a more detailed SD Action Plan (for the period 2005-2010). The Action Plan was adopted by the government in 2005, and it defines objectives and tasks regarding economic, social and environmental issues. Recently, the government has issued a report about the implementation of the Action Plan.

Spain: Consultation process for Draft NSDS finalised
Spain is one of the last EU Member States to draft its NSDS (for the Spanish document, click here). The Spanish NSDS was developed by the Economic Department of the Prime Minister’s Office with the participation of affected ministries, and it underwent a consultation process that was closed on 15 September 2007. The final version of the Spanish NSDS will be released later this year.

Sweden: Secretariat for Commission on Sustainable Development
As from 1 July 2007, a Secretariat for the Swedish Commission on Sustainable Development has been established in the Cabinet Office. The Secretariat will support the Commission on all SD issues, deliver basic data and analyses and organise meetings, conferences and hearings. The Head of the Secretariat is Joakim Sonnegard. Background information about the Commission and a list of members can be found here.

UK: Update of NSDS indicators
At the end of July 2007, the national SD indicator set that was originally outlined in the UK Government’s SD strategy “Securing the Future” (2005) was updated. “SD Indicators in your pocket 2007” can be downloaded from the UK Government’s SD website by clicking here. For the first time, some measures of personal wellbeing in the population are included.

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Revised ESDN Joint Understanding

The ESDN Joint Understanding clarifies some important issues of network governance and it sketches possibilities of developing the ESDN further. In September 2007, the Steering Group has adopted a revised version that includes a new section on how we perceive our relationship with other exchange mechanisms, such as the EEAC (i.e. the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils) and the SDS Coordinators Group (i.e. the EU Sustainable Development Strategy Coordinators Group that is chaired by the Secretariat-General of the European Commission).

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Invitation to a Workshop on “The Role of Government in Social Responsibility”, 3 Nov 2007 in Vienna

As announced in the June ESDNewsletter, the government stakeholder group of the ISO 26000 process (aiming at widely accepted guidelines for social responsibility/SR) invites you to an International Workshop on “The Role of Government in Social Responsibility” in Vienna on 3 November 2007. The workshop is a Side Event to the 5th ISO Social Responsibility Plenary Meeting that will take place on 5-9 November 2007. If you are interested in the workshop, please click here for the programme. If you or colleagues of yours want to participate, please use the registration form that can be downloaded here.

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We wish you a colourful autumn!

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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