"New Driver for Sustainable Development Strategies - The Power of Smart Linkages"

3 - 4 November 2009, Brussels, Belgium

The 4thESDN Workshop took place on 3-4 November 2009 in Brussels, Belgium. The workshop was entitled "New Driver for Sustainable Development Strategies - The Power of Smart Linkages"

The integration of various sectoral policies (horizontal policy integration) lies at the heart of the sustainable development concept. In practice, however, the challenges of integrating and coordinating different sectoral policies are vivid and seem to increase in the context of complex decision structures and established political-administrative cultures. Most government ministries and their related administrations are organised along sectoral policies and cross-sectoral coordination is often difficult to achieve. Nevertheless, horizontal policy integration needs to be comprehensively addressed and mechanisms need to be established if we want to achieve sustainable development on the European and Member States level. The importance and challenge of the topic for the success of sustainable development caused the ESDN Steering Group to organise an ESDN Workshop in order to discuss good practices of horizontal policy integration, to exchange information and experiences and, ultimately, to provide guidance on how to move towards better policy coordination and integration in the governance of sustainable development.

The workshop consisted of three parts: The first part dealt with inter-ministerial mechanisms at the political level in order to investigate how these institutional mechanisms foster horizontal policy integration by establishing a better coordination for sustainable development between different government ministries. The second looked into mechanisms that link legislative and executive arenas. By providing an overview of parliamentary committees in selected EU Member States, it was discussed how legislative mechanisms can support the implementation of sustainable development strategies and policies. The third part of the workshop focussed on auditing and evaluation schemes that focus on how well sustainable development strategies and policies are implemented on the ground.

Keynote presentations
Session 1: Inter‐ministerial mechanisms at the political level

Germany: State Secretaries’ Committee for Sustainable Development

Stefan Bauernfeind: German Federal Chancellery, Germany

Session 2: Mechanisms that link legislative and executive arenas

UK: Environmental Audit Committee in the UK Parliament

Gordon Clarke: Clerk of the Environmental Audit Committee, United Kingdom

Session 3: Auditing and evaluation schemes