Quotation Steurer, Reinhard, Hametner, Markus. 2013. Objectives and indicators in sustainable development strategies: similarities and variances across Europe. Sustainable Development, 21, (4), 224-241.




Europe has positioned itself as a progressive global player in environmental and sustainable development (SD) policies, and SD strategies should play a key role in better coordinating policies horizontally across sectors and vertically across levels of government. This paper gives an overview of the objectives and indicators employed in 24 national SD strategies across Europe, covering five different welfare state models. After highlighting some structural features of SD strategies the paper explores how coherently they address environmental and social policies, measured against the objectives and indicators of the EU SD strategy. It is shown that environmental objectives and indicators are more coherent than social ones. Re-garding the five socio-economic models it was found that the significant variance regarding social policy objectives and indicators is mainly due to the fact some SDSs from Mediterra-nean countries ignore this dimension of SD. The paper concludes that SD strategies in Europe (in particular the EU SD strategy) unfold only a fraction of their potential to better co-ordinate policies vertically across different levels of government. Since this conclusion is con-firmed by more qualitative research approaches, the European governance architecture for sustainable development is questioned in fundamental ways.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Sustainable Development
Citation Index SSCI
WU-Journal-Rating new STRAT-C
Language English
Title Objectives and indicators in sustainable development strategies: similarities and variances across Europe
Volume 21
Number 4
Year 2013
Page from 224
Page to 241
Reviewed? Y
URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/sd.501/abstract
DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/sd.501
Open Access N


SDI Analysis of Sustainable Development Indicators
Steurer, Reinhard (Former researcher)
Hametner, Markus (Details)
Institute for Managing Sustainability IN (Details)
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