ESDNewsletter October 2014

This ESDNewsletter informs about the following topics and activities on sustainable development in Europe:

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New ESDN Quarterly Report on “National Sustainable Development Strategies in eight CEE countries: Experiences, challenges and opportunities 10 years after EU accession”

In 2014, the Central and Eastern European (CEE) EU Member States celebrate their 10th anniversary of EU Membership. This was reason enough for the ESDN to look into the National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS) processes of 8 CEE Member States (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) and what experiences they’ve made since EU accession. The main purpose of this Quarterly Report is thus to explore the impact of the EU accession on the NSDS processes in the CEE countries. In so doing, a comparative stocktaking of NSDS processes in CEEs is provided, based on up-to date information of the ESDN Country Profiles and telephone interviews with policy-makers from national government ministries of the eight countries.

This Quarterly Report has the following structure: In chapter one, we provide a general overview of the CEE countries’ socio-economic and environmental situation by comparing the year of their EU accession with the current situation. The second chapter includes a comparative stocktaking of NSDSs processes in the eight CEE countries, based on up-to-date information provided in the country profiles (September 2014) of the ESDN homepage. The last chapter presents the results of the telephone interviews and gives more in-depth insides of structural and procedural NSDS processes of the respective countries. In the conclusions chapter, we summarize the main findings of this Quarterly Report. This Quartlery Report is one of the preparatory document for the forthcoming ESDN Conference 2014 (see below).

>> Read the current ESDN Quarterly Report online

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ESDN Conference 2014, “A renewed policy framework for sustainable development – The international SD agenda and its impact on Europe”, 6-7 November in Rome, Italy

The ESDN Conference 2014 will take place in Rome, Italy on 6-7 November 2014. The conference will be organized by the ESDN in cooperation with the Italian EU Presidency.

The ESDN Conference 2014 is entitled “A renewed policy framework for sustainable development – The international SD agenda and its impact on Europe”. During the Italian EU Presidency, the decision on SDGs and the post-2015 process will be taken. Therefore, the ESDN Conference 2014 will reflect on how the UN process will impact on the EU and national level with regards to sustainable development. This also refers to the Greening of the European Semester, which provides a good opportunity in the future for policy strategies to integrate environmental aspects, and more general issues of governance for SD (e.g. cross-sectoral coordination, stakeholder involvement, etc.). Moreover, the conference will reflect upon the role of National SD Strategies in the context of current socio-economic and environmental policy challenges. The conference will comprise six sessions:

For more information, please go to the ESDN homepage or send an email to the ESDN Office at

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New ESDN Case Studies on NSDS experiences in Southern European EU Member States online

As part of the preparation for the forthcoming ESDN Conference 2014, a new ESDN Case Study looks in the NSDS experiences in Southern European EU Member States. The Case Study is entitled, “National Sustainable Development Strategy processes in Southern European EU Member States:  Experiences & socio-economic and environmental challenges” and can be downloaded from the ESDN homepage.

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News on the governance of sustainable development from various European countries and the EU

Austria: Sustainable Development Action Days

The Austrian Sustainable Development Action Days 2014 take place from 4-14 October. During this time, all stakeholder groups (e.g. businesses, NGOs, associations, ministries and other public bodies, local authorities, and individual citizens) are invited to organize SD actions and events. The actions can be registered on a website and will show the broad commitment to and innovative approaches for a sustainable development of society. The SD Action Days are organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management and the SD Coordinators of the Austrian regions.

Wales, UK: The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Bill has been introduced

In July 2014, the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Bill has been introduced for debate into the National Assembly for Wales. The Bill will require Welsh Ministers to establish national indicators to measure progress towards the achievement of the well-being goals and report on them annually. The Bill confirms the aim of public bodies to improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of Wales in accordance with the sustainable development principle. More information on the Bill can be found at the Welsh Government website and the National Assembly for Wales website.

Updates in ESDN country profiles

The ESDN country profiles provide the most up-to-date information on national SD strategy and policy processes in European countries. We regularly update them to make sure the information we provide there catches up with the developments in all of these countries. Recently, the country profiles of 10 countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Spain) have been updated with latest pieces information on NSDS processes (e.g. current NSDS document and link, horizontal and vertical integration, stakeholder participation, evaluation, etc.)

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Other news:

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – Outcome Document by the Open Working Group available

After its 13th Session, the Open Working Group on SDGs has published its Outcome Document which is available online since mid-July 2014. The Outcome Document includes a proposal of 17 SGDs and 169 targets. More information on the SDG process and related documents can be found on UN website dedicated to the SDGs.

High-level expert conference on “Moving 'beyond GDP' in European economic governance”, Brussels, 10 October 2014

The European Commission is organising a high-level expert conference on "Moving 'beyond GDP' in European economic governance" in cooperation with the Italian Presidency of the Council in Brussels on 10 October 2014. This conference will take stock of all the recent technical and policy developments in the context of the 'Beyond GDP' debate and to discuss practical policy options for the future. More information on the event can be found here.

Special issue on Sustainable Mobility published

The ESDN had a cooperation with the CORPUS project, funded under the European Commission’s FP7 research program, that focused on knowledge brokerage between research and policy in three areas of sustainable consumption (food, mobility, housing). We provided several updates during the projects running time (2010-2012) in our newsletters and the project website is still active as a knowledge hub for sustainable consumption issues:

As part of this project, a special issue on “Sustainable Mobility – Challenges for a Complex Transition” has recently been published in the Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning as No. 3, September 2014. The special issue covers various topics form a sustainable consumption point of view, e.g. electric vehicles, public transport approaches, accessibility issues, mobility behaviour, etc. The table of contents and individual articles can be downloaded here.  

Sustaineo 2030: Today’s sustainable development visions, realized tomorrow

The report, “Sustaineo 2030: Today’s sustainable development visions, realized tomorrow” offers a thought-provoking ‘what-if’ scenario that describes a society founded on concepts of sustainable development. Sustaineo 2030 is not a parallel universe in which technology and social systems have been invented entirely anew. On the contrary, the text is based on real experiences that have been examined as part of the global study, “Winning Strategies for a Sustainable Future”, carried out by the Bertelsmann Foundation and the International Institute for Sustainable Development. Both publications can be downloaded from the Bertelsmann website.

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We wish you a colourful autumn!

The ESDN Office Team at the WU Institute for Managing Sustainability

André Martinuzzi
Gerald Berger
Andreas Endl
Markus Hametner
Katrin Lepuschitz
Umberto Pisano

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