ESDN Conference 2014

A renewed policy framework for sustainable development – The international SD agenda and its impact on Europe

Rome 6 - 7 November 2014

The ESDN Conference 2014 took place in Rome, Italy on 6-7 November 2014. The conference was organized by the ESDN in cooperation with the Italian EU Presidency. In total, 67 participants from 22 countries (21 European countries and Egypt) attended the conference.

The ESDN Conference 2014 was entitled “A renewed policy framework for sustainable development – The international SD agenda and its impact on Europe”. During the Italian EU Presidency, important decision on the SDGs and the post-2015 process will be taken. Therefore, the ESDN Conference 2014 reflected on how the UN process will impact on the EU and national level with regards to sustainable development. This also refers to the Greening of the European Semester, which provides a good opportunity in the future for policy strategies to integrate environmental aspects, and more general issues of governance for SD (e.g. cross-sectoral coordination, stakeholder involvement, etc.). Moreover, the conference reflected upon the role of National SD Strategies in the context of current socio-economic and environmental policy challenges.

Keynote Presentations
Session 1: International sustainable development agenda

The UN post-2015 agenda for sustainable development – status and way forward

Michele Candotti: Chief of the Executive Office of UNEP


Raphaël Dang: French Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Development and member of the UN Open Working Group on SDGs

The role of civil society in the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals

Farooq Ullah: Executive Director, Stakeholder Forum

The international SD agenda and its political dimensions

Dionysia-Theodora Avgerinopoulou: Member of the Hellenic Parliament & Chair of the Committee of UN Affairs of the Inter-Parliamentary Union

Session 2: Impacts of the international SD agenda on Europe

The Italian EU Presidency’s agenda for addressing international SD issues – SDGs and their impact on European SD policy frameworks

Paolo Soprano: Director, Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea

The EU’s strategic SD frameworks in response to the international SD agenda – What is the impact on SD governance and Greening the Semester?

Louis Meuleman: Coordinator European Semester, DG Environment, European Commission

Basic elements for a comprehensive SDG monitoring framework – Experiences from assessing Sustainable Development Indicators in Europe

Fritz Gebhard: Eurostat

The role of SD indicators in measuring progress towards sustainable development issues

Fabiola Riccardini: Italian National Institute of Statistics – ISTAT

Session 3: Involving societal stakeholders in addressing international SD issues in Europe

The role and involvement assigned to businesses in the post-2015 process

Marialuisa Saviano: Vice-President, Italian Association for Sustainability Science (IASS), Italy

SDGs and post-2015 in the European Union – the CSO perspective

Staffan Nilsson: Member European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the EESC’s SD Observatory


Massimo Pallottino: Concorde Italy/GCAP

Involving societal stakeholders in a national SD strategy process – the Finnish ‘Society’s Commitment for SD’

Sauli Rouhinen: Ministry of Environment, Finland

Session 5: New challenges for national SD strategies in the context of current socio-economic/environmental challenges and international SD issues

National SD strategy process in Southern and Eastern Europe in the context of current socio-economic and environmental challenges

Umberto Pisano & Katrin Lepuschitz: ESDN Office at the Institute for Managing Sustainability

NSDSs as tools for addressing current socio-economic/environmentalchallenges and international SD issues – practical experiences from Southern and Eastern European countries

The Spanish NSDS experience

Fernando Díe Ortega: Cabinet of the State Secretary for Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Spain

The review of Mediterranean Strategy on Sustainable Development

Atila Uras: Programme Officer, United Nations Environment Programme

The NSDS experiences in Estonia and Slovakia

Eili Lepik, Strategy Office, State Chancellery of Estonia


František Koločány: Cross-Cutting Priorities Department, Slovak Republic Government Office

CBSS-Baltic 21 Strategy on Sustainable Development 2010-2015

Krista Kampus: Senior Adviser & Head Baltic 21 Unit, Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat (CBSS)

Session 6: Making NSDSs ‘fit for purpose’