ESDN Policy Briefs are synthesis documents from the ESDN Conferences, Workshops, and Peer Learning Platforms and Visits. Policy Briefs are not only based on presentations given by keynote speakers, but also on the outputs generated by interactive group work between policymakers and experts in sustainable development during these events, which culminate in jointly made recommendations with respect to the topic of the specific ESDN event.

ESDN Policy Notes on Spillover Effects

December 2023

The year 2023 marks the halfway point to achieving the goals laid out in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Global Sustainable Development Report 2023 has shown that no country is on track to deliver on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In an ever increasingly globalized world, attention needs to be put on measuring not only internal and domestic progress towards the SDGs, but also measuring and considering what happens beyond the borders of one country. Spillovers exist in different dimensions, such as between policy sectors, but the ESDN’s focus is on spillover effects from one country on other countries. It is a remarkable fact that many countries, which rank highly in the Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s SDG Index when it comes to SDG implementation, rank quite low when it comes to the spillovers they generate beyond their borders, which are mainly based on their unsustainable levels of consumption.

Recognizing the need to turn the attention of European countries towards the spillover effects they have on other countries, both the positive and the negative ones, theEuropean Sustainable Development Network (ESDN) decided to focus on this topic in 2023 and provide recommendations on how to identify and proactively address spillovers. This was done by organizing two events on the topic, bringing together experts and different stakeholders to share knowledge, experiences, and best practices:

  • The ESDN Youth Workshop took place in Berlin, Germany from 25-28 October 2023 and brought together more than 40 ESDN Youth Representatives and a dozen young civil servants from over 20 countries.
  • The ESDN Peer Learning Platform and Visit took place in Bern, Switzerland on 9-10 November 2023. Over 50 participants, mainly national level policymakers, from 14 countries met to learn from each other on how to better identify and address spillover effects.

The Recommendations for both events can be found in the documents below.

Download the Policy Brief
  • Integrating Youth Perspectives in Addressing SDG Spillovers
    Download Dec. 2023

Past ESDN Policy Briefs

  • Conducting 2nd VNRs
    Download Jan. 2023
  • SDGs and Human Rights
    Download Dec. 2022
  • Triple Planetary Crisis
    Download Dec. 2022
  • Youth Involvement in Europe
    Download Oct. 2022
  • A More Resilient and Sustainable Europe
    Download Feb. 2022
  • Engaging Civil Society and Citizens for the 2030 Agenda
    Download Dec. 2021
  • Parliamentary Involvement in the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda
    Download Sept. 2021
  • Sustainable Finance
    Download March 2021
  • EGD as a Vehicle to Transform Europe to a Sustainable Society
    Download Dec. 2020
  • Achieving a Sustainable Recovery from the Covid-19 Crisis
    Download Sept. 2020
  • Communicating SD and the SDGs
    Download Feb. 2019
  • Implementing the SDGs at the Local and Urban Level
    Download Nov. 2017