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EU Sustainable Development Strategy

Sustainable Development is a strategic goal for the European Union, requiring structural changes in the economy and society, but also in the way policies are developed and implemented. During the Lisbon Summit in 2000, the European Council agreed what is known as the Lisbon Strategy, which resolved that the EU should: "become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion". The Stockholm European Council then decided that an EU Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS) should complete and build on this political commitment by including an environmental dimension. This recognizes that in the long term, economic growth, social cohesion and environmental protection must go hand in hand.

In June 2001, the European Council at Gothenburg approved the Strategy for Sustainable Development proposed by the European Commission. It however singled out four environmental priority areas (Climate change; Public Health; Natural Resources; and Transport) to be targeted as a first step, building upon the 6th EU Environment Action Programme and the EU sectoral strategies for environmental integration. A global dimension to the EU Strategy was later added as an important
Community input to the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development.

The strategy was reviewed and the
renewed Sustainable Development Strategy for an enlarged EU was adopted in June 2006. It sets overall objectives and concrete actions for seven key priority challenges:

  • Climate change and clean energy
  • Sustainable Transport
  • Sustainable Consumption and production
  • Conservation and management of natural resources
  • Public Health
  • Social inclusion, demography and migration
  • Global poverty and sustainable development changes
The first progress report on the SDS was adopted in October 2007, complemented by a detailed staff working paper. In addition, in 2007 Eurostat published a monitoring report based on an extended set of sustainable development indicators. In July 2009 the Commission adopted the 2009 Review of the EU SDS. Eurostat's bi-annual monitoring reports on sustainable development have been published in 2009 and 2011.
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