European Union


European Union - Sustainable Development indicators
In 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, the “Earth Summit” adopted Agenda 21, a plan of action to stimulate progress towards sustainable development (SD). Chapter eight of Agenda 21 recommends that governments draw up national sustainable development strategies (NSDS). The 1997 Special Session of the UN General Assembly set a target date of 2002 for their elaboration. In 2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) reiterated this recommendation: the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation urges countries to make progress in the formulation and elaboration of NSDS and begin their implementation by 2005.

The European Council agreed on a strategy for sustainable development, based on the principle that the economic, social and environmental effects of all policies should be examined in a coordinated way and taken into account in decision-making. In order to evaluate implementation and progress, the Sustainable Development Strategy foresees the development of a set of sustainable development indicators. 


Indicators for Sustainable Development in the Mediterranean Coastal Regions, 2006, Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD), European Commission, United Nation Environmental Programme and Mediterranean Action Plan.


Measuring Progress Towards a More Sustainable Europe, 2005, European Commission, Eurostat

Sustainable Development Indicators to monitor the implementation of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy, 2005, Commission of European Communities. Quality measures for economic indicators, 2005, Mazzi, Museaux, Savio, Eurostat working paper, Eurostat.


National Sustainable Development Strategies in the European Union, 2004, European commission.

See also, Annex: Summary analysis of national Sustainable Development Strategies in the EU, 2004, European comission?

Towards a European Research Area - Indicators on Science, Technology and Innovation Key Figures 2003-2004, 2004, Directorate general for Research, Information and Communication Unit, European Commission.

EU Structural Indicators, 2004, European Commission and Eurostat.

European System of Social Indicators, the German Centre for Survey Research and Methodology (ZUMA), Social Indicators Department.

Progress towards the common objectives in education and training: indicators and benchmarking, 2004, Commission staff working paper, Commission of European Communities.


Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting 2003, 2003, United Nations, European Commission, OECD, Intarnational Monetary Found and World Bank.

European Report on S&T Indicators 2003 - Towards a Knowledge-based economy, 2003, Directorate general for Research, Information and Communication Unit, European Commission.


Dashboard of Sustainability, 2002, Consultative Group on Sustainable Development Indicators, Eurostat and European Commission Joint Reserach Center (JRC). See also the JRC Sustainable Development and Policy Performance Indices webpage.


Report on Indicators in the Field of Poverty and Social Exclusion, 2001, Social Protection Commitee, European Commission.


Environmnental Indicators: Typology and Overview, 1999, Edith Smeets and Rob Weterings, Technical Report, European Environmental Agency.

Indicators for Decision- Making, 1999, by Jochen Jesinghaus, European Commission.



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