From Here to Sustainability – Is the Lisbon/Göteborg agenda delivering?
The European Councils held in Lisbon (2000) and in Göteborg (2001) gave the Union a new direction by establishing a long term strategy with sustainable development as the overarching objective. Sustainable development means, in this context, goals for economic, social and environmental policy, which are both mutually consistent and capable of delivering enhanced economic growth. To assure progress towards an agreed range of targets, the open method of coordination (OMC) has been adopted as the process for the implementation of the strategy. The strategy for sustainable development is a long-term one and, although the deadline originally set for the Lisbon agenda was 2010, it is clear that sustainable development has a much longer time-horizon and also that there is a global dimension to sustainable development, not just an EU one.
In the run up to the mid-term review of the Lisbon strategy, this report by the European Panel for Sustainable Development, EPSD, offers an assessment of the EU approach to sustainable development. The report is based on official documents, research reports and background reports prepared by researchers from different disciplines. It concentrates on the EU-15 Member States, because the ten new members that acceded to the EU in May 2004 have not (yet!) been subject to the same commitments in relation to sustainable development. However, in future work by the EPSD, it is anticipated that the coverage will be extended to embrace all 25 Member States.
The report starts with a discussion on the political process, followed by an examination of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the strategy, of the potential of new technologies, and of the results delivered by the Member States. The final chapters include discussions on impact assessment and the global dimension of sustainable development. The focus of the report is on:
− The integration of the three dimensions of sustai nable development and the policies that affect them into one coherent strategy
− The implementation of the strategy through the open method of co-ordination
The main messages of the report are that it is vital to:
• Maintain the original commitment to sustainable development as the overarching objective of the Lisbon strategy and improve the co-ordination between the three pillars of the strategy: the economic, social and environmental dimensions
mid term review