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Learn Europe / Subjects / Sustainable development

Sustainable development

Geography

Specific Objectives and Competences

  • To understand the concept of sustainable development.
  • To know the principles on which the EU has based its policy of sustainable development.

Contents

  • Sustainable development is a transversal objective that has implications for all EU policy.
  • The Treaty of Amsterdam established sustainable development as one of the official policies to be pursued by the EU. In general, the aim is to favour a type of development that meets the needs of the present without endangering the possibility of future generations meeting theirs.
  • This EU policy exists within the framework of the multilateral system of governance of the United Nations (UN) because putting it into effect also implies taking wider action at the global scale. The most recent international conference organised by the UN was Rio+20, which took place in 2012.
  • The EU sustainable development strategy was published in 2007 and based on the following principles:
    • Promoting and protecting basic rights.
    • Solidarity both within and between generations.
    • Guarantees for an open and democratic society.
    • The participation of citizens, companies and social partners.
    • The coherence and the integration of policies.
    • Using the best available knowledge.
    • The precautionary and “polluter pays” principles.
  • This strategy also identifies seven unsustainable tendencies that call for intervention:
    • Social exclusion and demographic ageing.
    • Climatic change and energy.
    • Transport.
    • Consumption and production.
    • Natural resources.
    • Health and the promotion of sustainable development in the world.

Debates

Based on the presentation Twenty years of sustainable development in Europe?

Could it be said that the EU is making progress in everything relating to sustainable development?

Videos

  • 12-15 Water (bg, da, et, cs, de, el, es, en, fr, it, lv, lt, hu, mt, nl, pl, pt, ro, sl, sk, fi, sv, 2'06'')
  • 12-15 Air (bg, da, et, cs, de, el, es, en, fr, it, lv, lt, hu, mt, nl, pl, pt, ro, sl, sk, fi, sv, 2'38'')
  • 12-15 Energy (bg, da, et, cs, de, el, es, en, fr, it, lv, lt, hu, mt, nl, pl, pt, ro, sl, sk, fi, sv, 2'29'')
  • 12-15 Definition of sustainability (en, 2’01’’)
  • >15 Rio +20 reviews sustainable development (fr with subtitles in bg, da, et, cs, de, el, es, en, fr, it, lv, lt, hu, mt, nl, pl, pt, ro, sl, sk, fi, sv, 4’53’’)
  • >15 Euro MPs debate the failure of Rio+20 (en with subtitles in bg, da, et, cs, de, el, es, en, fr, it, lv, lt, hu, mt, nl, pl, pt, ro, sl, sk, fi, sv, 1’56’’)

External Link

Educative Games