“Monitoring and reviewing sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Europe: current debates in EU Member States and on the European level”

16 June 2015, Brussels, Belgium

The 12th ESDN Workshop, “Monitoring and reviewing sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Europe: current debates in EU Member States and on the European level”, took place in Brussels on 16 June 2015. In total, 75 participants from 18 countries took part in the event. The workshop was organized by the ESDN in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The background of the workshop topic is related to current debates and activities on sustainable development:

  • There is an ongoing and very lively debate about future aspects of the post-2015 debate and the SDGs (i.e. ‘zero draft’ proposal, UN Secretary-General’s synthesis report);
  • In continuation of the work done in the ESDN 2014 Conference, which focused on the impact of the SDGs process on the European SD governance framework and on EU Member States, the 12th ESDN workshop will develop further those discussions with a fuller consideration of those aspects related to SDGs monitoring and reviewing processes in Europe, particularly in the EU Member States;
  • A lively debate is on-going in EU Member States on SDGs, with particular attention to SDG monitoring and review processes that would most probably intervene on processes of national SD objectives and targets as well as national monitoring processes.

Based on this background, the workshop aimed at

  1. Responding to a number of pressing questions for European countries:
    • Which national challenges have already been identified, tackled, and solved?
    • Which mechanisms have already been realized, foreseen, or debated?
    • Which risks, opportunities and barriers have been acknowledged?
    • Which fields for bilateral or European cooperation on these topics are of interest?
  2. Providing recommendations for national and EU policy-makers on issues related to SDGs monitoring and review processes particularly relevant in terms of governance for SD, such as the interaction and coherence between the various levels or the SDGs translation from the global level to the regional (EU), national and subnational level;
  3. Exploring concepts and ways for practical implementation of SDGs monitoring and review processes at European and national levels;
  4. Reflecting on ideas and practical experiences among European countries


Keynote presentations
Session 1: Monitoring and review processes for SDGs

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Current work on objectives and indicator development

Matthias Reister: UN Statistics Division (UNSD)

Two ‘flash inputs’: Data revolution report of SDSN & input to SDGs development

Maria Cortés Puch: Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)

Eurostat’s contribution to the SDGs development and future work on SD monitoring in Europe

Fritz Gebhard: Eurostat

What is needed to set up an effective monitoring and reviewing system for SDGs?

Derek Osborn: President of the Stakeholder Forum

Session 2: National experiences with SD monitoring and review: links to SDGs implementation

National SD monitoring and reviewing processes and their potential link to SDGs: Experiences and outlook from European countries


Stefan Bauernfeind: Federal Chancellery, Germany


Stéphane Bernaudon: Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, France

SDG-monitoring: relevance of concepts and systems worldwide, specific challenges for developing countries and approaches for cooperation and support

Ingolf Dietrich: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany

SD monitoring and reviewing in non-European countries: opportunities and challenges in the context of the SDGs

François Fortier: Interregional Adviser on Sustainable Development Policy and Planning, Division for Sustainable Development, UN-DESA

Session 3: Linking SDGs monitoring and reviewing to European and National SD policy strategies

European Union’s perspective: monitoring, accountability and review for the post-2015 agenda?

Katja Weigelt: Policy Officer Post-2015 Team, Dir. A Policy and Coherence DG DEVCO, European Commission

Three national perspectives: How can SDGs monitoring and reviewing influence National SD Strategies?


Daniel Dubas: Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE), Switzerland


Cédric van de Walle: Federal Institute for Sustainable Development, Belgium


Eili Lepik: Strategy Unit -Government Office, Estonia

Session 4: The role of policy actor networks for SDGs monitoring and reviewing