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Sustainable Development Policies in the European states Gábor Bartus Ph.D. Secretary General, National Council for Sustainable Development (Hungary) Co-chair,

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Development Policies in the European states Gábor Bartus Ph.D. Secretary General, National Council for Sustainable Development (Hungary) Co-chair,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainable Development Policies in the European states Gábor Bartus Ph.D. Secretary General, National Council for Sustainable Development (Hungary) Co-chair, Working Group for Sustainable Development, EEAC Incheon, 10 April 2014 National Council for Sustainable Development, Hungary European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils

2 Focus on… 1. Some thoughts on the difficulties of sustainability transition 2a. SD decision-making characteristics in the European countries 2b. Cross-cutting effects of developments 2c. The role of multi-stakeholder processes 2d. Monitoring and reporting 3. Examples – country characteristics from Europe

3 Constraints in SD policies (Source: ESDN - European SD Network) Weak political commitment: more words than action Periodical financial and budget crises Lack of champions - There is no single example where the whole SD transition was a big success Difficult to translate into political practice and hard to understand for non-experts Focus on win-win situations is false: there are trade-offs and losers

4 The main barriers of operationalization (Price – Durham – Chan, 2010, UK Government Economic Service Review)

5 The problem of SD transition The timeframe of transition is longer than one or two political cycle The current government has to cover the cost of transition, but the benefits will appear in the next political cycle or later time stability less stable more stable transition peak sustainable society current situation time stability less stable, less resilient more stable, more resilient

6 How to solve… 1.External control mechanisms: New institutions (new types of checks and balancies) -constitutional rules -independent bodies (not under control of the government) 2. Internal control mechanisms: Enhance knowledge and commitment of citizens (voters) -education -NGO’s -multi-stakeholder dialogue

7 SD decision-making characteristics in the European countries One tool for the integration and cross-cutting: SD Strategy Diversity of National SD Strategies varies by name – „strategy”, „framework strategy”, federal plan”, „government vision”, „sustainability agenda”, etc. varies by length of strategies - from 7 to 252 pages varies by type – not a BAU method in SLO, NED and GBR varies by number of revisions – from 0 to 3 (e.g. Germany has a most sophisticated process to periodical review) varies by institutional anchoring – ministry for environment (general), office or chancellory of prime minister (Estonia, Germany), shared responsibility (Austria, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia)

8 SD decision-making characteristics in the European countries Purpose of National SD Strategies to assess the current situation, to mobilize and focus a society’s efforts to achieve SD, to provide a forum for societal articulation of a vision of a sustainable future, to create a framework for processesses of negotiation, mediation and capacity building (participation), to build upon and harmonize the various sectoral policies

9 SD decision-making characteristics in the European countries Key characteristics of national SD strategies integration of SD dimensions: economy, environment, human and social aspects multi-stakeholder participation, effective partnership, transparency and accountability capacity development and an enabling environment, building on existing knowledge and processes focus on priorities, outcomes and coherent means of implementation linkage with budget and investment processes continuous monitoring and evaluation

10 Mechanisms of vertical integration (1) Three main mechanisms: Consultation Cooperation and coordination mechanisms Awarness raising and information exchange (2) Institutionalisation some of these mechanisms through councils, commissions, or other bodies (3) Vertical integration formalisation within legal acts

11 Mechanisms of horizontal integration (1) Inter-ministerial bodies at the political level (Germany, Hungary) (2) Inter-ministerial bodies at the administrative level (Finland, France, Luxembourg) (3) Hybrid regimes - stakeholders participation processes (e.g. Czech Republic) SD Councils (in many MS) formal and informal European level consultations: EEAC, ESDN

12 Evaluation and review Qualitative evaluations and reviews: 1. Internal reviews / progress reports (many EU countries) 2. External reviews (e.g. Finland – 2009) 3. Peer reviews (e.g. Germany – 2009, 2013)

13 Indicators and monitoring From 15 (France) to 155 indicators (Hungary) National statistical offices as a responsible institutions Few, key indicators: for communication purpose, enhancing political commitment and leadership Detailed indicator set: for policy planning, decision-making

14 German SD institutions SD Strategy: Since 2002 (Johannesburg) Monitoring 2 y, review 4 y High level political commitment Impact Assessment (connected to the legislative process) State Secretaries Council Parlamentary Commitee National SD Council 11 States have SDS

15 Italian SDS NSDS since 2002 – mainly environmental goals 2007: national review Inter-Ministerial Comittee 2012: National Green Economy Agenda (ongoing work) – 8 targets Multi-Stakeholder Platform for Green Economy Sustainability Criteria, Environmental Footprinting

16 SDS of Slovenia Transition to a low-carbon society 3 priorities – 5 headline target – 7 flagship iniciatives SDS since 2005; Plan B for Slovenia 2007-2012 Cross sectorial approach In 2012 because of the financial crises the Government cancelled inter-governmental institutions (e.g. SD Council)

17 SD policies in Hungary New constitutional rules since 2012 (SD, right for healthy environment, rights of future generations) Constitutional court Ombudsman for future generation National SD Council (multi-stakeholder dialogue) SD strategy with 2 year monitoring and 4 year revision Vertical SD strategy – the role of local governments, industry, NGO’s and individuals Horizontal SD strategy – human, social, economical and environmental assets management SD in education, media and social media

18 Summary Political leadership is crucial Wide societal commitment is also important (Not only the Government is the actor, enterprises, civil organisations and households are players too) Policy integraton, participation and reflexivity are immanent features of an NSDS process Institutional anchoring Inter-ministerial cooperation and the steering capacity Monitoring and evaluation Stakeholder participation Effective implementation

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