Tuesday, 18 August 2020
Since 2002, several stakeholder groups, e.g. social partners, NGOs, local communities, the science community etc., were involved in the development of the GSDS. The methods used for this purpose ranged from traditional consultation processes to the possibility of delivering opinions on drafts or internet chat sessions with ministers and state secretaries.
The German Government had initiated a broad public consultation process, which accompanied the work on the 2008, 2012 and 2016 GSDS Progress Report and the 2018 Update. Citizens were invited to contribute to the Progress Reports by making comments and suggestions based at first on a preparatory consultation paper, and then on a draft version of the GSDS Progress Reports; both were published on the internet. In addition, the Federal Chancellery invited selected stakeholders from alliances and associations to discuss the draft report in hearings or conferences. The review of the GSDS started in October 2015 shortly after the 2030 Agenda was adopted. A series of 5 stakeholder conferences (Berlin, Dresden, Stuttgart, Bonn and Hamburg) opened the discussion on a new GSDS 2016. Periodical newsletters informed about the activities and sustainability discussions taking place. A draft of the new/reviewed GSDS 2016 has been published by the end of May 2016 and opened for a second consultation phase via internet. In addition, dialogue meetings with the federal states as well associations and organisations took place during summer 2016. The current review has been introduced by a series of conferences in Berlin, Stuttgart, Norderstedt and Bonn. Further public consultations are planned until the end of 2020.
The GSDS of 2016 helped to strengthen stakeholder involvement. For example, a regular dialogue format (“Sustainability Forum”) and has been introduced. The first Sustainability Forum took place in July 2017, followed by another meeting in June 2018. The government presented progress on implementing the 2030 Agenda. Social organisations reported on their activities and discussed implementation measures of the government. In addition, a Dialogue Group has been established in summer 2018. The intention is to strengthen involvement of social stakeholders in the preparation of meetings of the State Secretaries’ Committee. The first meeting took place in September 2018, with 20 stakeholder representatives participating in the preparations for the next meeting of the State Secretaries’ Committee.
In science, various initiatives have been launched to support the implementation of the SDGs. The Federal Government has embraced these initiatives and offers a platform on which scientific support for the implementation of the SDGs will be pooled (“Science Platform Sustainabilty 2030”, ).
Since 2004, the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development of the German Parliament has been supporting the SD process in Germany. The Council submits proposals for updating the GSDS and provides recommendations on individual subjects relating to SD. The Council had contributed an own guest chapter to the Progress Reports of 2008 and 2012 and in the new GSDS 2016. The Council comprises 17 Members of the Parliament from all parliamentary parties who can incorporate the results of the work of the Council into the work of the parliamentary parties and special committees.
The German Council for Sustainable Development was established by the German Government in April 2001. Its members are appointed by the Chancellor. Currently it is composed of 15 members from various social groups, the business sector as well as from the science and research community. Its mission is to advise the German government on all matters relating to SD and to contribute to the further development of the GSDS. In addition, the Council is an important stakeholder in the public dialogue on SD. A statement of the Council was published as a guest chapter in the Progress Reports 2008 and 2012 and was again part of the new GSDS 2016.
The Council organizes Annual Conferences for Sustainable Development with more than 1000 participants and key notes by the Chancellor. The Conference offers national and international guests the opportunity to hear and discuss about the latest SD news and issues.
In 2012, the Council has started its call for a German Sustainability Action Day respectively Action Week. All actors - regardless whether from the private, public, religious, business or academic sector - are invited to present their activities on SD and share their experience. In close cooperation with France and Austria, the European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW) was initiated and first started in 2015 with more than 4000 activities in 29 European countries.
A strengthened collaboration between the Council for SD, the Parliamentary Advisory Council on SD and the State Secretaries´ Committee for SD is ongoing. Each of the three institutions invites representatives of the other two to its regular meetings.
Member of the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC).