This year it is 25 years ago that the Treaty on the European Union was signed in Maastricht. Since then, European environmental policy has been strengthened and this year sees the 25th Annual Conference of the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC). The conference provides an international platform to look back on the past and to discuss present and future challenges for sustainable development. How can the EU and its member states press ahead on the road towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations? And what kind of interaction should there be between science, policy and society in order to tackle the sustainability challenges?
The programme comprises three subjects and will generate a discussion between participants from the various EU member states: chairpersons of member advisory councils, council members, policy-makers and opinion leaders. The subjects are:
- Obstacles and challenges on the road towards a Sustainable Europe
- The present political and social climate and the effects on the implementation of the new sustainability goals – the 2030 Agenda
- The changing citizens-science-policy interface
Youth representatives will occupy a central position in the programme. The day before the conference, they will hold their own pre-youth conference. On 12 October 2017, they will pitch their joint vision of ‘A Sustainable Europe in 2030’, and participate in the debates.
Besides keynote speakers such as Dirk Messner (Chairman of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU)) and Director of the German Development Institute (DIE)), there will be roundtable discussions, interviews, panel discussions and pitches by the youth representatives. The entire programme will be led by moderator Marcia Luyten (Buitenhof TV).
The conference is an initiative of the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC). The Dutch Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli) is one of the co-organisers, along with the Environmental and Nature Council of Flanders (MINA), the Belgian Federal Council for Sustainable Development (FRDO-CFDD), and the Luxembourg National Council for Sustainable Development (CSDD).