The history of the ESDN goes back to 2002, when public administrators in charge of national sustainable development (SD) strategies from several EU Member States (MS) met for the first time for a workshop-like exchange of experiences in the Netherlands. Since then, annual conferences have taken place across Europe. For a full documentation of these events click here.
With the Vienna meeting in 2003, the target group of the conferences was broadened considerably. Besides the coordinators of national SD strategies and the national coordinators of EU environmental integration and SD policies, experts from the European Commission, representatives from various National Councils for Sustainable Development, and national members of the SD Working Group of the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC) have joined the meetings.
At the ESDN 2019 Conference in Helsinki, the informal nature of the ESDN changed and the ESDN officially became the ESDN Association under Austrian Association Law. However, this new legal classification shall not change the informal nature of ESDN Association events, the nature of policy learning between peers, nor the Network.