An update on Europe’s progress towards sustainable development

7 January, 2014

The fifth monitoring report on Sustainable Development in the European Union was published by Eurostat last week. This biennialal report gives insights into the actions taken so far by the European Union (EU) to achieve the objectives of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy and their impact, based on a number of sustainable development indicators.


The report presents Europe’s progress against more than 100 indicators, grouped into ten themes – natural resources, sustainable consumption and production, climate change and energy, sustainable transport, socioeconomic development, social inclusion, demographic changes, public health, global partnership and good governance. To summarise the environmental, economic and social developments since 2000, 12 headline indicators were selected.


This year’s evaluation showed that positive changes have been made in the areas of climate change and energy, sustainable consumption and production and demographic changes. Greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption have decreased since 2000, while waste management practices and resource productivity have improved. Less progress has been made in natural resources and sustainable transport, as shown by indicators such as the common bird index, fish catches from stocks outside safe biological limits and energy consumption of transport. Social inclusion was found to be the least evolved area, with the number of people at risk of poverty, social exclusion and severe material deprivation having increased since 2008.


A video explaining sustainable development in a simple and clear manner and presenting Europe’s evolution against the different sustainability indicators accompanies the report. The analysis is carried out every two years by Eurostat, EU’s statistical office and aims to provide an objective evaluation of progress based on specific, measurable indicators.


Original article