“Post-2010: The Future of the EU SDS and its Interface with the Lisbon Process”

19 November 2008, Brussels, Belgium

The 3rd ESDN Workshop was hosted by the ESDN in cooperation with the Sustainable Development Observatory of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). The workshop was entitled "Post-2010: The Future of the EU SDS and its Interface with the Lisbon Process", and took place on 19 November 2008 in Brussels, Belgium.

At its meeting in March 2000, the Council of the European Union adopted a ten-year development programme, the so-called ‘Lisbon Strategy’, with the aim to make the EU the most dynamic and competitive economy by 2010. The Lisbon Strategy was relaunched in 2005 and re-focused the priorities on growth and employment. Currently, the discussions about the future strategic development of the EU post-2010 have already begun, particularly on the future of the Lisbon Strategy: The European Council in its meeting in March 2008 “invite[d] the Commission, the Council and the National Lisbon coordinators to start reflecting on the future of the Lisbon Strategy in the post-2010 period” (Council of the EU, 2008, para 6). The first EU Sustainable Development Strategy (EU SDS) was adopted in 2001 and a renewed and updated version was adopted by the European Council in 2006. A first progress report was published in 2007 and a further one is to be undertaken in 2009. The similar timetables of these two review processes make a reflection about the interface and future of the Lisbon Strategy and the EU SDS for the period after 2010 necessary and timely.

Several questions emerge in this context which are of great relevance to the sustainable development (SD) community: What are the opportunities and threats of having one overarching EU development strategy or two separate strategies (i.e. post-Lisbon strategy and future EU SDS)? How would this influence the national strategy processes (i.e. National Reform Programmes and NSDSs, national reports on the implementation of these EU strategies)? Which aspects of SD are most relevant in the future strategic development process of the EU? How can the SD community be more comprehensively involved in the post-2010 debate? How to define or re-define the relationship between growth and SD? The workshop participants discussed these and other aspects of the post-2010 debate.

Keynote presentations
Session 1: EU Sustainable Development Strategy

Current discourse, review mechanisms and planned initiatives on EU strategies post-2010: Lisbon Strategy and EU SDS

Martin Ahbe: Secretariat-General of the European Commission, Belgium

Session 2: Sustainable development in the future strategic development of the EU: Scenarios for the post-2010 period and the role of sustainable development