Wednesday, 15 July 2020
National — sub-national linkages
Several institutional arrangements foster the cooperation and coordination between the national and sub-national levels in the Agenda context, taking advantage from previous networking experience on SD issues. Since 1998, members of the Actors Network Sustainable Austria have regularly met in “round tables” organised by the former Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management in cooperation with one of the Austrian federal states. The round table meetings focused on the exchange of experience and information among actors of different working fields and different levels of implementation. From 2010 onwards, the activities of the network have been closely linked with the implementation of the ÖSTRAT, the joint SD strategy of the Federal and provincial authorities, its implementation by means of joint work programmes, and its further development. As a consequence, the “Round Table Sustainable Austria” was given a new design. In November 2010, the Actors Network Sustainable Austria met to develop the first joint ÖSTRAT work programme. More than 50 actors from key institutions of the national and regional levels discussed the further development of existing initiatives as well as options for new partnerships and new initiatives
- The “Expert Conference of National and Regional SD Coordinators” was approved by the “Conference of the Environmental Ministers of the Federal Provinces” in 2000. National and regional SD coordinators meet twice a year in order to develop common activities and to coordinate the implementation of SD strategies and policies. In 2019, the “Expert Conference of National and Regional SD Coordinators” merged with the “SDG Focal Points” from the federal level to promote the exchange of information and experience on the 2030 Agenda implementation.
- The chair of the Regional SD coordinators now participates in the IMAG at federal level. An external support agency provides technical assistance for the implementation of the work programme. It also supports the preparation of progress reports.
Local Agenda 21 (LA 21) is regarded an important approach to implement SD and Agenda 2030 at the regional and local level. In 2019, the quality management process started in 2002 on evaluation of LA 21 processes and quality assurances was adapted to the goals and targets of the Agenda 2030.
Austria actively participates in EU processes connected to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. As an EU Member State, Austria belongs to one of the most important actor groups in development cooperation worldwide. In this role, Austria is particularly committed to supporting sustainable economic development in selected partner countries, mainstreaming of environmental protection, and the advancement of human rights, democracy and good governance.
During the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2018, the priority of the Council Working Group on the 2030 Agenda was to establish instruments, processes and structures that would promote the desired mainstreaming within the Council and make use of synergies. In addition to communication with external stakeholders (e.g. the Multi-Stakeholder Platform on the implementation of the SDGs in the EU, SDG Watch Europe, UNECE), other Council Working Groups were also sensitised to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. For example, an informal dialogue on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda was initiated on EU level.