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The bulletin of European statistics
PI Imiillil'Bi f[Hv7*Ti
íal |j[t| Π F^KIIMI M 3/2001 Sustainable development
In this issue of Sigmo...
Now that sustainable development has been firmly rooted on the policy agenda, there was not much hesitation about
giving it the spotlight in this Sigma. Not unlike the sweeping impact of the New Economy, covered in another recent
issue, sustainable development ­ with its three economic, environmental and social pillars ­ stretches across the board.
And this goes for statistics too ­ with the call from policy­makers for a set of sustainable development indicators...
In the following pages, we aim to:
>­ present a roadmap of the current state­of­play
>· emphasise the three­dimensional nature of sustainable development
>■ give an insight into Eurostal's response
>· provide some idea of how Member States are tackling the issue, ond
> offer some pointers as to the future statistical house of sustainable development.
Yves Franchet, Eurostat's Director­ with Johannesburg, the Rio+10
General, opens the issue, unrolling the review, on the horizon.
sustainable development map and chart­
To get some grasp on how Member
ing the way ahead for statistics and the Sigma ­ the bulletin of
States are tackling the issue, John
ESS. Marc Vanheukelen of the Euro­European statistics produced in
Custance, of the UK's Department for
Luxembourg by Eurostat pean Commission's DG Environment
Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, gives
sums up the EU Sustainable Development
Chief editor us the UK's translation of sustainable
Strategy and how statistics can help.
Amador Rodriguez Prieto development as 'quality of life'.
We then turn to Eurostat's statisti­
Assistant chief editor On the three dimensions of sustainable cians to brief us on how they have been
Fons Theis
development, Domingo Jiménez­rising to the challenges emanating from
Beltrán of the European Environment Editorial team the EU Sustainable Development
Barbara Jakob, Glen Campbell Agency discusses the environmental Strategy. They address primarily the pri­
aspect; Mark Hay den of the ority areas set out at the Gothenburg
Commission's DG Economy and European Council: public health, cli­Virginie Schultz
Financial Affairs adds the economic mate change, social exclusion, trans­
Layout ingredients; and Karen Dunnell of the port, natural resources and finally, an
Claudia Daman
UK's ONS raises the social pillar high. ageing society.
... A handful of views that should go Bedrich Moldan of the United Nations
Frédéric Guyon
Commission on Sustainable Development some way towards answering many
readers' questions about what sustain­­ the UN's architect of sustainable devel­Published by
Office for Official Publications of the opment indicators at the international able development is about and its signifi­
European Communities level ­ gives us a universal stance cance for statistics.
Catalogue number
KS­AB­Ol­003­EN­C Also in this issue... © European Communities, 2002
For the last in our series of profiles Action Plan and introduce Eurostat's new Printed in Luxembourg
of EU and EFTA statistical offices, euro indicators site.
Views expressed in Sigma are those
Hallgrimur Snorrason explains
Wrapping up the issue, on its tenth anniver­of the authors, not necessarily those of
how Statistics Iceland is a statistical
the European Commission sary, we take stock of the Committee on
office like any other.
Monetary, Financial and Balance of
Sigma is avcilable free of charge
Payments Statistics (CMFB), which has Focussing on changes in the ESS, we from:
become a significant coordinating body. Eurostat report on the new President at INE
And finally, we report on a recent partner­Press & Communication Team Portugal, Paulo Gomes, and the new
Bech A4/20 ship agreement signed between Eurostat Director­General at Statistics Finland, Heli
L­2920 Luxembourg and the Commission's DG Employment.
Jes ka nen­Sundström.
Fax: +352 4301 35349
e­mail: eurostat­pressoffice@cec.eu.int Klaus Reeh and Marco De March of
Eurostat talk about improving EMU's sta­ Fons Theis
tistical indicators by way of the EMU Assistant chief editor
We would like to ΤΓΊΟΓΙΚ all those who have contributed to this edition:
John Allen, Eduardo Barredo-Capelot, Teresa Bento, Manuela Caetano, Giuseppe Caló, Tony Carritt, John Custance, Karen Dunnell, Marco De March, Marleen De Smedt,
Mark Hayden, Paulo Gomes, Christian Heidorn, Lothar Jensen, Heli Jeskaien-Sundström, Domingo Jiménez-Beltrán, Dietmar Koch, Petra Lehmann, Graham Lock, Bart Meganck,
Bedrich Moldan, Rosemary Montgomery, Brian Newson, Inger Öhman, Maari Paasilinna, José Pessanha, Klaus Reeh, Mario Ronconi, Hallgrimur Snorrason, Anton Steurer,
Geoffrey Thomas, Marc Vanheukeulen and, of course, all our 'correspondents' in Member States. M 3/2001 Contents
Chère lectrice, cher lecteur Verehrte-r Leser-in,
Nous sommes au regret de vous annoncer que, faute de ressources de Wir bedauern, Ihnen mitteilen zu müssen, dass Sigma aufgrund
traduction, Sigma ne paraîtra h l'avenir qu 'en anglais. Nous espérons fehlender Ressourcen für die Übersetzung nur noch in englischer
que cela ne vous causera pas d'inconvénient majeur et que vous Sprache erscheinen wird. Wir hoffen, dies verursacht keine
resterez un lecteur fidèle de Sigma. Unannehmlichkeiten und würden uns freuen, wenn Sie uns auch
in Zukunft treu bleiben.
De notre côté, nous ne cesserons de prodiguer tous ks efforts pour
maintenir Sigma à un niveau élevé de qualité, afin de vous informer Wir werden unsererseits weiterhin alles dafiir tun, Sigma auf einem
régulièrement sur les derniers développements dans le domaine de L· hohen Qualitätsniveau zu halten und Sie regelmäßig umfassend
statistique. über die jüngsten Entwicklungen in dei- Statistik zu informieren.
Au cas où vous souhaiteriez cependant résilier votre abonnement, Sollten Sie Ihr Abonnement dennoch kündigen wollen, so
nous vous prions de bien vouloir informer Mme Sylviane Scabbie informieren Sie bitte Sylviane Scabbie (Fax: +352 4301 32 594,
(Fax: +352 4301 32 594 - e-mail: sylviane.scabbio@cec.eu.int) E-Mail: sylviane. scabbie @cec. eu. int)
Vanhtu Pegt 24:
giring swt Btdrkh Hoidan
oife develop­ expetts tae f (f to bring Pag» 31:
ment hands r its fall »tight Damingo Jiménez-Beltr on
and htt lo Johannesburg steps'mio the hitare
SIGMA COMMENT ) Bridging the gap through environmental FOCUS ON MEMBER STATES )
accounts 22
Unrolling today's sustainable A statistical office like
development map 2 Indicators for a 41 any other!?
Eurostat's DirectorGeneral Yves Franche! sustainable world4 The last in the series of our profiles -
opens the issue Bedrich Moldan, of the UNCSD, address­
Statistics Iceland
es the global challenge of sustainable
Two ESS statistical offices
TURNING THE WORLD 46 change heads
SUSTAINABLE Sustainable development =
•Quality of life' 27
Practice v/hat you preach! 4
... explains John Custance of the UK
Marc Vanheukelen, DG Environment,
Department for Environment, Food &
Building EMU's statistical about Europe's leadership in terms of sus­
Rural Affairs
48 house tainable development
Eurostat's Marco De March and
Working for and on the future 31
Approaching sustainable develop­ Klaus Reeh on the EMU Action Plan
Domingo Jiménez-Beltrán, European
ment statistically and Eurostat's euro indicators site
Environment Agency, on the environmen­
Eurostat statisticians take the floor
tal aspect of sustainable development
Health for quality of life 8
CMFB - a pivotal mechanism for
Towards a sustainable use of chemicals.... 1 O
cooperation 51
Sustainable Development,
Concerted action against
Retrospective of CMFB's ten-year exis­
economically-speaking 35
climate change 12
Mark Hayden, DG Economic and
Statistics helping to counteract social
Financial Affairs, on the economic aspect
threats 5
United in improving statistical
of sustainable development New challenges raised by an ageing
52 information in the social field
society 17
An agreement between DG Turning sustainable Getting from A to B with sustainable
Employment and Eurostat highlights development social 38 transport8
common efforts Karen Dunnell, of the UK's ONS, on the Natural resources at the heart
social aspect of sustainable development of the challenge 20 M 3/2001 Editorial
lished a new itinerary
addressing poverty, health, Unrolling today's
economic growth and equity
in an integrated way, together
with assuring a clean and
non-depleted environment. sustainable
The Rio Declaration and
Agenda 21, adopted in
1992 at the United Nations
Conference on Environmental development map
Development (UNCED) out­
lined the first comprehensive
uropean cities are quite
action plan for the global Epopular in 'Eurospeak' to
transition to sustainable
describe, in a word, Euro­
pean policy decisions made
at European Councils that
For statisticians, the Rio Decla­
would otherwise require long-
ration was the starting signal
winded explanations. Faithful
to work on indicators for sus­
to this tradition, one
tainable development. Sever­
European Council last year
al EU Member States volun­
adopted an EU Strategy that
teered to participate by test­
linked the Swedish town
ing indicators in their own sus­
Gothenburg irrevocably with
tainable development policy
sustainable development
context. Eurostat tested the set
and defined a new destina­
of indicators developed by
tion for European policy­
the UN Commission for
makers and citizens alike.
Sustainable Development on
the data available at Eurostat A high quality information
and published a first series in service, which of course
1997, followed in 2001 by a embraces statistics, has a
second version [see article on major role to play in support­
ing this plan and in plotting the page 24 and panel on page
coordinates on the map to help 16). In addition, the Rio
us to steer our course to the Declaration also set out
desired shores of sustainability. actions to extend the national
accounts with satellite environ­
mental accounts - which are UN and Rio give
now up and running in most the starting signal
EU Member States.
First introduced by the Brundt­
land Commission in 1987 in From Amsterdam
the UN-report Our Common
to Gothenburg
Future, sustainable develop­
ment was described as:
Europe blew wind in the sails
of the Rio message with a
"satisfying present
number of significant deci­
needs without com­
sions on sustainable devel­
promising the ability
opment being taken at the
of future generations
European level in the past
to meet their own
few years:
t The Amsterdam Treaty
This message was quickly made sustainability an EU
taken on board and estab­ goal. M 3/2001 Editorial
» The 1998 Cardiff European refined. These include, for The structural indicators set The conclusions from Gothen­
Council stimulated the inte­ example, indicators on burg also invite Member picks individual 'headline'
gration of environmental greenhouse gas emissions, indicators of high policy States to draw up their own
issues into all major policy the energy intensity of the implication. Given that sev­ national sustainable develop­
areas and led to new think­ economy, the volume of eral of the social and envi­ ment strategies. This means
ing on decoupling econom­ transport in relation to GDP that, at national level, strate­ronmental indicators suffer
ic growth and environmen­ and the modal split of trans­ from data gaps, low accura­ gies will need to be monitored
tal pressures. port, urban air quality and cy and lack of timeliness, through indicators, which will
municipal waste - indicators back up the indicator initia­they urgently need to be
> The Stockholm European that, in fact, have to be brought to an adequate stan­ tives by Member States.
Council signalled the need included in the next synthesis dard. In addition, the indica­ Actions by the European
for marrying the Lisbon report. tors need to be positioned Statistical System should thus
Strategy on innovation, eco­ build on the experiences -within statistical frameworks.
nomic growth and social With a view to improving the For example, which tiers of gained at both the Member
inclusion with the sustain­ relevance of the indicator information are crucial for State and the Community lev­
able development strategy. set, new indicators will have els - to achieve a conver­more in-depth analysis or
to be added or will replace how should such data be col­ gence of approaches, when
► Finally, the Gothenburg the present ones as soon as lected in a cost-effective desired.
European Council agreed better data are available. way? Clearly, our prefer­
an EU Strategy for But this will not happen at There is a rich variety of ence should go for using
Sustainable Development the wave of a wand. Several ongoing experiences on sus­existing surveys and existing
and added the third envi­ years of work lie ahead tainable development indica­legislation.
ronmental dimension to the before they can be included. tors that, hopefully, should
Lisbon Strategy. not hamper identifying con­Some important input can
This 'to do list' is long: fuel vergence at the international come from the ongoing
consumption for transport, Statistics plots level. In this sense, coopera­process to develop indica­n of toxic chemi­ tion between Eurostat, the tors for integrating environ­the coordinates
cals, disability adjusted life UN and the OECD is of mental concerns into other
expectancy, rate of selected great significance. policies, such as agriculture, The Sustainability Strategy
infectious diseases, biodiver­
transport, energy, economic will be monitored on the
Globalisation is being talked sity, resource productivity,
basis of a number of head­ and financial policies. In
recycling rates, generation about everywhere. Nothing is
particular, the agriculture line indicators in the annual
of hazardous waste ... And more global than our concern
and transport indicators are Commission Synthesis
this is just a handful of those about a future worth living
well advanced in coherent Report to the Council. The
because we all know that nei­indicators that we would
analytical frameworks. so-called Structural Indica­
regard as 'more ideal' than ther environmental, econom­
tors are therefore to be However, further work on
those we are currently able ic, nor even social problems
completed with indicators indicators on sustainable
to provide. are restricted by national bor­
for the four priority areas agriculture ande
ders. It is therefore a pleasing
identified, namely climate enterprise policy will also be
thought that we are not alone A common ESS
change, transport, public helpful.
on our path towards 'sustain­
approach health and natural
able development'. Eurostat's
Another important issue is
statisticians have started
the question of extending Adapting the statistical system
thinking about how they can
national accounts to serve as For the European Statistical to the EU sustainable develop­
contribute and they are
System, immediate actions ment strategy will be a long- a tool for sustainable devel­
ready to raise the anchor
are needed as a result of term process. This need for opment analysis. How far
and hoist the sails. The tail
can the present system be these decisions, although it adjustment is not totally new,
wind so far is good.
extended with "satellites" for is not completely unpre­ but will rather clarify and fur­
pared. Since the 1990s, ther those modifications alrea­ the social, environmental
In the following pages, the sus­
and resource use dimen­Eurostat has worked on indi­ dy initiated. Being policy-driv­
tainable development map has
sions? Will research help to cators for sustainable devel­ en, indicators need to be
been unrolled for readers to
opment in the framework of identified by policy-makers find agreements on aggre­
understand the mechanics and
international actions. This is with statisticians adapting gated indices to cover the
navigate the waters ahead.
complexity of sustainability very useful experience to social and economic statistics
in the same way that GDP build on, when new indica­ to reflect environmental and Yves Franchet
tors need to be compiled or sustainability concerns. does for the economy? Eurosrat Director-General M 3/2001 Sustainable development S
> In addition, we believe that What makes the EU Sustainable Development Strategy so spe­
there is a lot of truth in the
cial? What comes next? And what are the Commission's expecta­
saying, 'practice what you
preach'. We wanted to tions in terms of statistics? - What better person to answer than
show the rest of the world
the man who helped to shape the Strategy and who heads a unit
that we take it seriously.
called 'Sustainable Development'? MARC VANHEUKELEN And if we start by put­
ting our house in order,
of the Commission's Directorate-General Environment answered
the chances are that our
5/gfma's questions. impact on the discus­
sions at world-level will
be greater. Put more
provocatively, it would
certainly be easier to Practice what
talk about sustainable
development in general
than start doing some­
thing concretely. you preach!
Think twice
ar from being a new con­ Union. Never before have The Earth Summit II, a
The global and long-term F cept, the EU deemed environmental sustainability Rio+10 review, taking
character of sustainable
greater emphasis of sustain­ matters been on a par with place in Johannesburg in
development requires Can­
able development neces­ economic and social policy September 2002, will be a
didate Countries to be
sary. How does the current in the history of the EU - major occasion to discuss
included. What is being
EU Strategy on Sustainable clearly a major step for­ sustainable development at
done in this respect?
Development compare to ward. world-level, and Europe
previous actions? should use this opportunity
Given the long-term charac­
to set out its own views. As An issue for ter of the Strategy, the
It is the first time at European
an input to this meeting,
Candidate Countries are all of us
level that we have given sus­
the Commission is prepar­
clearly part and parcel of the
tainable development hands
ing a communication on
picture. They have a number
The Sustainable Development and feet. We have made the
global sustainable devel­
of specific concerns, but at
Strategy is a European concept operational by
opment, which will be on
the same time many of the
approach reflecting the focussing on a number of
the agenda of the Barcel­ problems that we have iden­
EU's distinctive view. How­key areas requiring special
ona summit in March. tified for Western Europe,
ever, sustainable develop­attention and action: climate
such as climate change or
ment clearly hos a global
change, public health, trans­
threats to public health, also Without neglecting the
dimension ...
port and use of natural
apply to them. global dimension of sus­
tainable development, we
It is absolutely true that sus­
On the other hand,
started by focussing on tainable development is Under each of those areas
Candidate Countries still
Europe for two good rea­very much a global con­we have formulated clear
have more bio-diversity and
sons: cept. UN circles pioneered actions that need to be
they should do everything to
the term, and the most undertaken. So, we have
avoid the errors that we
I We wanted to make sure well-known definition of given an operational content
have made - be it with
that sustainable develop­sustainable development that should allow policy mak­
regard to the conservation of
ment is relevant to as a "development that ers to start putting in place
bio-diversity and landscape
European citizens and not meets the needs of the measures that have an effect
or in the area of transport.
something that people present without compromis­on the ground.
merely associate with the ing the ability of future
The message of sustainable
less developed world. generations to meet their In addition, sustainability development for those coun­
Indeed, we wanted it to own needs" stems from the issues will now be on the tries must be: 'Please look at
Brundtland report, a UN become an issue for every agenda every year at the what we have done and
report. single European citizen. highest political level in the draw lessons from our mis-M 3/2001 Sustainable development
takes.' It takes an inordinate the resource intensity of
amount of time to put things the economy. But how do
right ­ changes in spatial we measure that? We hope
planning, land use, produc­ to have an operational
tion technologies or infra­ concept that is sufficiently
structure take years if not representative of what we
decades. have in mind by 2003.
A clear implication of the A similar case is a bio­diver­
Sustainable Development sity indicator. The Sustain­
Strategy, in my view, is that able Development Strategy
we should step up the states that there is a clear
reform of the Common decline in bio­diversity in
Agricultural Policy (CAP) so Europe. I believe this is a
that, by the time it is imple­ generally agreed, fair state­
mented in the Candidate ment. The precise measure­
Countries, there is a stronger ment of bio­diversity, howev­
role for measures to improve er, is still very much an issue
rural development and more to be worked on.
support to agri­environmen­
tal measures.
On the other hand, there
are a number of issues
Similarly, with regard to where we have a very
transport, the Commission clear idea of what we
communication suggests that want to measure but where
future structural funding as
we have no data, or at
well as the trans­European least not for all countries.
networks should put less
For example, concerning
emphasis on road networks
the production and genera­
and redirect public money
tion of hazardous waste, Marc Vanheukelen, a Belgian, was an
into alternative modes of
either the country cover­economics lecturer at the European Institute of transport.
age is incomplete or the Public Administration in Maastricht (NL) before ■
data are far too old. joining the European Commission Directorate­
General Economic and Financial Affairs in 1985.
Exposure to persistent toxic demands clearly After spending a year in Canada to study the work­
chemicals that are bio­ings of the Canadian monetary union, he worked
cumulative is a big sustain­Such policy initiatives usu­ in DG Budget. In 1996, he joined the cabinet of
able development issue. ally create a need for sta­ Commissioner Wulf­Mathies where he contributed
However, we have already tistical information. What to the reform of the structural funds in the context
great difficulties in measur­are your expectations in of Agenda 2000.
ing the consumption of statistics after the process
Since June 1999, he has been heading the econom­ toxic chemicals in Europe set in motion in Gothen­
ic analysis unit — recently renamed 'sustainable with production data being burg?
development unit' — within DG Environment. available but trade data
Apart from following up the implementation of the being scarce. We may We are facing a dual
EU sustainable development strategy, its main task have good data on the problem here. First of all, a
is to look into all methodological questions for the sales of toxic chemicals but number of concepts in the
formulation of policy proposals. This includes pri­ we have no clue about the area of sustainable devel­
marily questions of scientific input and economic
exposure. So, in a number opment have not yet been
rendered precise enough of areas we are only just
As head of a task force comprising representatives starting to collect essential to be measurable. In many
areas, we need above all from the DGs Environment, Economic and Social statistical data.
to refine the concepts. Affairs and Employment, instructed to prepare the
Take, for example, natural Commission communication on sustainable devel­ We also need to have a
resources. People would opment for the Gothenburg summit, he played a better idea of the external­
like to see an indicator of major role in its drafting. ities caused by certain eco­3/2001 M Sustainable development
toral councils should reflect nomic activities so that discussing the state of the able transport, as well as
perhaps the depletion of fish and then devise an action they can be incorporated Union.
plan on how to take into stocks, in the light of the into the price of the goods
It is therefore essential that Common Fisheries Policy account environmental con­that those economic activi­
sustainable development cerns better in their sectoral reform which is due in ties deliver. But this will
indicators and, in particu­ 2002. policy­making. The Swedish have to go clearly beyond
lar, environmental indica­ presidency has produced a pure statistics and will be
tors, focus on the most Another task is to elaborate report for the Gothenburg subject to expert studies
pressing problems and that a proposal by the Com­ summit, in which it provides and detailed analyses.
they are easy to under­ mission to give flesh to the a state­of­play of the various
stand. Politicians can then, idea of a sustainability sectoral councils. However, statistics are the
at a glance, understand impact assessment. We have bedrock on which those
what is going on in the found in our analyses on sus­ Following this report, the analyses will have to be
same way as they under­ tainable development that process has been given a based. They are an indis­
stand GDP, exchange one of the main sources of new lease of life by the pensable ingredient in the
rates, employment and non­sustainability is sectoral Gothenburg summit. The var­Sustainable Development
unemployment. policy inconsistency ­ a case ious councils will have to Strategy menu before further
of one hand not knowing report regularly on their analysis, for example, on the
what the other is doing. If progress ­ information that environmental implications On the agenda
you look at the interdepend­ will form part of the input for and the cost­effectiveness of
ence between, for example, the annual discussions at the
different options of a certain What are your current activi­
environmental, transport, fis­ highest political level on sus­policy proposal, can be car­ ties now the EU Sustainable
cal, R&D and regional poli­ tainable development.
ried out. Development Strategy is
cies, it is amazing how they
adopted? What are the
can reinforce or weaken one
Indicators already exist for
actions emanating from it? Opening up a new another. transport and environment
perspective (TERM project, see page 34) As a result of the Gothen­
The sustainability impact and major projects are burg summit, a number of
assessment is a mechanism What do you expect from underway in the field of things need to be prepared
that should help to reduce statistics in the long­term? agriculture and environment for the next European
these inconsistencies. All
where the EEA plays an Council in Barcelona. The
major policy proposals, Ideally, we should go for active role with Eurostat as first thing is to put forward a
before they are adopted by an aggregate measure of the main statistics provider of limited set of sustainable
the Commission, require a
sustainable development, the European Commission development indicators ­
systematic assessment of for example, a GDP cor­ also having an important limited because they will be
their economic, social and
rected for environmental input. In my opinion, these part of the broader Lisbon
environmental implications.
degradation or social integration indicators will process. And again, as for
And we hope that other insti­
problems. However, this is have to be developed for the structural indicators,
tutions share the same spirit other sectors as well as, for an ideal and our conceptu­ Eurostat played an important
and systematically have in
example, energy, industry, al richness and statistical role in this.
mind the triple dimension fisheries etc. apparatus do not yet allow
when they take up the
us to have such a single A novelty, we will also have
Commission proposal.
aggregate estimate of say, I can only repeat and stress to make a contribution on
'quality of life'. the importance of statistical sustainable development for
Beyond lofty indicators for the assess­the synthesis report. As a
But obviously it is impor­ ment of integration, but in succinct political report, it principles
tant that, next to the fairly particular, for the Sustain­will be rather short and we
well­known economic and able Development Process will therefore have a very The Strategy stresses the
as a whole. With the social indicators, we limited number of pages to integration of environmen­
establish a battery of envi­ Strategy we took a deci­pass messages on sustain­ tal issues into other poli­
sion to try and achieve a ronmental indicators that, able development to the cies as a major element.
better quality of life for us together with GDP and highest political level. This is How is this put into practice?
and future generations. other indicators, are laid also the reason why we will
So, let's go beyond lofty on the table to give Prime most likely focus in the This process started at the
principles, and jump the Ministers a more balanced preparation of Barcelona on Cardiff integration process
next hurdles. ■ climate change and sustain­picture when they come to in 1998. A number of sec­IVI 3/2001 Sustainable development
sustainable development
into concrete policy action. ing population) that were For this reason, Sigma ot only has the
While recognising the global already identified as major invited the Eurostat experts European Union
working in these fields to issues at earlier occasions. and long-term character of Nrecognised sustain­
reflect on the question of sustainable development, it able development as a major
Appropriate information on
sustainable development committed the EU to an objective to assure the future the three pillars of sustainabili­
and possibly provide us international leadership role development of European ty - the social, economic and
with some answers on the in the run-up to the Earth societies and economies and environmental dimensions — is
concrete statistical implica­
the maintenance of natural Summit II to be held in one of the major challenges to
tions of the Strateg}'.
resources and environmental Johannesburg this year. improve our understanding of
assets. Taking it up in the the interactions between our
From a variety of possible Our gallery below shows
Amsterdam Treaty can also be economies and societies and
action fields, four priority from-left-to-right, first row:
seen as a strong 'constitu­ the environment.
areas for sustainable develop­ John Allen, Teresa Bento,
tional' commitment.
ment were identified, namely Adequate statistical informa­ Graham Lock, Christian
climate change, public With the Strategy for Heidorn; second row: Diet-tion — the 'measurement side'
health, natural resources and Sustainable Development mar Koch, Marleen De of sustainability — is also an
adopted at the Gothenburg transport — thus comple­ important support for Smedt, Mario Ronconi; last
Council in June last year, the menting the social and eco­ reviewing and monitoring row: Petra Lehmann, Peter
Tavoularidis, Brian Newson, EU launched a process to nomic issues (poverty and the implementation of sus­
transform this commitment tainability policies. Rosemary Montgomery. social exclusion and an age­3/2001 M Sustainable development S
possible adverse health
effects. It includes directing
policies and actions towards Health for
reducing smoking and mak­
ing people aware that
unhealthy lifestyles, i.e. preg­
nant women smoking, can quality of life lead to future generations
that are less healthy.
by Marleen De SmedV Health determinants
At an individual level, our
A healthy population is cru­ elderly, the disabled, migr­he original definition of
health status is driven by a
cial for the well-being of our ants and how it cares for Tsustainable development
variety of factors: it not only
future generations. - and the most often used - is societies. Sick or badly nour­
depends on the genetical
that of 'development that ished people perform less
package we are born with.
Examples of sustainable
meets the needs of the pres­ well. Health is a vital ele­
Half a century of research
development dealing with
ent without compromising the ment in satisfactory and pro­ has provided consensual evi­
health include the promotion
ability of future generations to ductive life, so a healthy dence that our way of living
of new employment policies
meet their own needs'. With
society is therefore itself a and, in particular, nutrition,
that not only promote the cre­
respect to programmes and
prerequisite for sustainable physical activity, smoking ation of jobs but also healthy
policies, in particular at EU
development. Sustainable and social relations, are
working conditions, or
level, I would describe it
development is also about major personal determinants research and innovation in
myself as the responsibility of
how a society cares for the of adult health. Finally, the field of biotechnology
a society to steer policies,
health is influenced by fac­health of the most vulnerable with full attention to screen­
programmes and actions in
tors related to our environ-of its members: children, the ing new techniques on the
such a way that all citizens
benefit from gradual econom­
ic and social progress, gen­
erally targetted towards a
better quality of life, not
only now but also for future
Inevitably, there is a link
between 'sustainable devel­
opment' and 'public health'.
For most of us, the quality of
our life is not only about hav­
ing sufficient means for com­
fortable living: sufficient
income, good housing and
the provisions of facilities
such as a good transport
infrastructure, basic educa­
tion for all and child care.
Enjoying good health and
being able to obtain ade­
quate and efficient health
care are important elements
for 'quality of life'.
Unfortunately, one often only
fully appreciates this when
directly confronted with a
health problem.

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