Published Friday, 12 December 2008

Programme of Conference on the External Aspects of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy 

Programme of the Conference on the External Aspects of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy to be held in Brussels on 28 January 2009.

In June 2006 the European Council approved a renewed EU Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS), extending and consolidating the strategy it had first adopted at its Gothenburg meeting in June 2001. One of the objectives of the SDS is to “actively promote sustainable development worldwide and ensure that the European Union’s internal and external policies are consistent with global sustainable development and its international commitments”. To this end, the SDS reiterated specific policy commitments to address global poverty and sustainable development challenges which the EU made at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (2002) and announced various policy measures in areas such as energy and climate change, the management of natural resources, and sustainable production and consumption. While climate change is currently at the top of the political agenda, other external aspects of the SDS are not receiving the same level of policy attention. 

In December 2009, the European Council will be reviewing progress in the implementation of the SDS and will agree on a ‘road map’ of priority actions for the following years. In order to contribute to this debate, the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), in cooperation with EGMONT, the Belgian Royal Institute for International Relations, is organising a conference in Brussels to bring together experts, officials and stakeholders from EU Member States and non-EU countries, in particular developing countries. The conference will discuss a number of EU policies of significant importance to global sustainable development, and assess the extent to which the Union is living up to the commitments made in the SDS. The conference is organised with the support of the Belgian Federal Departments of the Environment and Sustainable Development.