Sustainable development was defined in the World Commission on Environment and Developmentâ€™s 1987 Brundtland report Â´Our Common Future` as â€development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needsâ€™. It seeks to reconcile economic development with the protection of social and environmental balance.
In 2001, the EU adopted a strategy in favour of sustainable development. This was revised in 2006 providing â€a long-term vision for sustainability in which economic growth, social cohesion and environmental protection go hand in hand and are mutually supportingâ€™.
The European Commissionâ€™s review of the strategy in 2009 highlighted the persistence of some unsustainable trends and the need for greater efforts in their regard. However, it also noted the EUâ€™s progress in mainstreaming sustainable development in many of its policies (including trade and development) and pointed to the lead it has taken in regard to climate change and promoting a low-carbon economy.
Sustainable development formally became one of the European Unionâ€™s long-term goals under ArticleÂ 3(3) of the Treaty on European Union.
Source:Â EUR Lex Glossary« Back to Glossary Index