A new sustainable development strategy for the EU - Annual Conference 2004 report

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Courtesy of European Environmental Bureau

The outgoing Commission presented a Sustainable Development Strategy in May 2001. It contains important notions and proposals. It emphasises the urgency and political leadership required. It advocates the use of financial instruments to make the market work for the environment, as well as the abolition of environmentally perverse subsidies.And it set specific objectives for four important policy areas (climate change, mobility, nature and natural resources, and pubic health). In this way it created expectations, which have only partly been fulfilled.

This autumn, a first assessment about its implementation and results will take place. This should lead to a commitment from the new Commission to the Strategy, amended or not, complemented with concrete actions in its 5 year workprogramme.

The outgoing Commission aims for a public consultation in August/September. The EEB conference is likely to be the only occasion for discussing the successes, failures and lessons directly with EU politicians and officials in that period. The conference conclusions could become an important contribution to the new Commission’s dedication to sustainable development.

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