Last updated on:
Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Currently, 13 of 16 of the German federal states have their own SD strategies in place. The federal government aims at strengthening the cooperation between the national level and the federal states level. Short descriptions of the federal states’ SD activities are available in German.

The federal government has strengthened cooperation with the local level in the context of the Progress Reports 2008, 2012 and 2016. Accepting an invitation by the federal government, the German municipal umbrella organisation (consisting of the German association of cities, the German county association and the German association of towns and municipalities) presented their priorities and views on the GSDS in a guest chapter in the Progress Reports. There it stressed that SD is increasingly becoming a central guiding principle of municipal politics. In February 2009 and again in April 2013, delegates from the German municipal umbrella organisation discussed questions of land use for housing and infrastructure with the federal government in a meeting of the State Secretaries´ Committee for Sustainable Development. In January 2012 and again in March 2015, the State Secretaries’ Committee discussed with mayors (members of the “Sustainable City” dialogue - Mayors for Sustainable Development in Municipalities Initiative of the Council for Sustainable Development) challenges of sustainable cities and fields of further cooperation.

The “Federal-Länder Experience Exchange on SD” is a format that offers room for regular communication on current issues of sustainable development at Federal and Länder level. In addition, the Federal Government and the Länder meet at political level (Conference of the Heads of the State and Senate Chancelleries of the Länder (CdS) and the Federal Chancellery).

In addition, there are specific fields of cooperation, which integrate the federal and subnational level (federal ministries, Länder, municipalities) as well as science research institutes and NGOs.

Another instrument to support sustainable development activities at local level is the Service Agency Communities in One World (Servicestelle Kommunen in der Einen Welt – SKEW), set up by the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. It provides information and advice to the municipalities on all aspects of community-level development cooperation and acts as focal point for civil society commitment in implementing the 2030 Agenda.

Furthermore, the Sustainable Development Council supports vertical integration by activities such as the Sustainability Network of Lord Mayors and the creation of regional hubs.