Tisková zpráva EEB: Is the Sustainable Development Strategy Under-Developed?
(Brussels, 22 November, 2007) - In a letter addressed to the Portuguese Presidency, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB)  has called upon current EU Presidency to make the most of their final month of leadership by adopting concrete benchmarks for improving performance on the EU Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS) . The European Commission recently released a progress report on the strategy  which acknowledges a lack of progress on its implementation, but offers no concrete proposals for positive change.
John Hontelez, EEB Secretary General, said, "The messages of the Commission's SDS progress report, although based on an impressive amount of work by Commission and Member States, are very disappointing and a missed opportunity to challenge the European Council and Member States to finally make a move towards sustainable development."
The EEB has prepared a position paper on the 2007 EU SDS progress report, the main points of which have been outlined by John Hontelez in his letter to the Portuguese Presidency. The EEB's letter delineates several key areas set forth as requirements of the EU SDS that have not yet been achieved and require immediate action, including:
- phasing out harmful environmental subsidies;
- reforming environmental taxation, which was recognized by the SDS as necessary to reconcile environmental protection and smart economic growth;
- reducing the environmental impact of transport, now increasingly contributing to climate change; and
- halting the decline of biodiversity by 2010, which will require policies to limit urban sprawl and transport infrastructure, adapt to climate change, and move to cleaner agricultural practices.
The EEB also called upon the Presidency to achieve the following urgent goals related to successful implementation of the SDS, including:
- an effective programme to achieve sustainable production and consumption patterns. The EEB calls for an ambitious Commission Action Plan on this topic, which has an expected release date of early 2008;
- concretely addressing the Lisbon strategy and working on the basis of relevant conclusions of the June Environmental Council on ecological industrial innovation;
- setting the EU SDS as the lead framework for determining future EU Budgets; and
- recognising positive national developments that contribute to (the mobilisation of the public for) sustainable development and promote them for wider use
Notes for editors:
 The EEB is a federation of over 145 environmental citizens' organisations based in EU Member States and most accession countries. The main aim of the EEB is to protect and improve the environmental of Europe and to promote knowledge and understanding of EU environmental and sustainable development policies amongst the general public in the EU to enable them to play their part in achieving that goal.
 Council of the European Union. June 2006. Review of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy (EU SDS) Renewed Strategy. Document number 10117/06.
 Commission of the European Communities. October 2007. Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament. Progress Report on the Sustainable Development Strategy 2007.
 EEB, November 18, 2007. EEB response to the Progress Report on the Sustainable Development Strategy 2007.