National and regional story (Luxembourg) - 1 - Interdepartmental collaboration and stakeholders consultation

SOER 2010 National and regional story (Deprecated) expired
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SOER National and regional story from Luxembourg - 1 - Interdepartmental collaboration and stakeholders consultation in the development of the second National Plan for Sustainable Development and in the framework of the Environment-Climate Partnership
Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 21 Mar 2015
Key message

How to collaborate between Ministries, services and administrations for developing action plans for a sustainable development or for the environment.

How to involve various public and private stakeholders in the process.

National Plan for Sustainable Development

The Law of 25 June 2004 on coordination of the national policy for sustainable development laid the legal foundation for the National Plan for Sustainable Development (‘Plan National de Développement Durable’ – PNDD), which is to be updated every four years and is to specify areas of action, objectives and activities. It established a Superior Council for Sustainable Development (‘Conseil Supérieur pour un Développement Durable’ – CSDD) and created an Interdepartmental Commission for Sustainable Development (‘Commission interdépartementale du développement durable’ – CIDD) comprising ministry representatives responsible for mainstreaming the concept of sustainability into sectoral policies.

The CSDD is the senior advisory body for sustainable development. It has 15 members, appointed in their personal capacity and drawn from the academic world, NGOs, labour unions, chambers of commerce and business associations. Since its creation, the Council has sent several opinions to the Ministers in charge of the environment and of the sustainable development policy, the Government, and the Chamber of Deputies (on sustainable public finances, the financial and economic crisis, and so on).

The CIDD includes representatives of most ministerial departments [note 1], and is tasked with drafting the PNDD, which is then to be submitted to Government for approval. The CIDD is also supposed to report on implementation of sustainable development in individual sector policies. Its work is coordinated by the Department of the Environment of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure.

The Law establishes a formal procedure that includes collegial work amongst various Ministries – through the CIDD – as well as an extended consultation of a range of public and private stakeholders – NGOs, professional associations, etc. – throughout the process. It also stipulates that the draft PNDD, which has been approved by the Government, goes to the Chamber of Deputies and to the CSDD for their opinions and suggestions.

With regard to the public consultation, the work on the second PNDD – the first to be elaborated using the procedure established by the Law – started with a workshop gathering various representatives from civil society (NGOs active in the fields of social matters and the environment, professional associations, trade unions, etc.). During this workshop, they could express their views and opinions on the priorities identified by the CIDD in its first report on the implementation of sustainable development principles in individual sector policies.

A consultation subsequently took place between the CIDD and the CSDD (joint meeting) followed by three round tables bringing together the Minister responsible for the sustainable development policy, members of the CIDD, the CSDD and the Social and Economic Council (‘Conseil Economique et Social’ – CES) and, once again, representatives of civil society. Each round table was dedicated to one of the constitutive milestones of the second PNDD [Figure 1]. From these round tables and consultations, 14 unsustainable trends and 18 ‘quality objectives’ towards 2050 have been identified for Luxembourg and constitute the backbone of the second PNDD [Figure 2, Figure 3].

In March 2009, the draft second PNDD was adopted by the Government. It was then, in accordance with the Law, transmitted to both the Chamber of Deputies and to the CSDD for their opinion and suggestions. Then, the draft was also made public via a web page, and announced in the press so that citizens could be informed of the content of the second PNDD and offered the possibility to comment on it. This public consultation via the internet has been a failure because, among other things, it was not guided by a set of questions or proposals citizens could directly react on. From this disappointing experience, it is clear that it will be necessary to reflect on how to better consult the general public in the future. Comments from the Chamber of Deputies and from the CSDD were essentially to prioritise objectives and measures of the draft PNDD and to put forward mid- to long-term objectives that, at the same time, could be seen as emblematic and ‘eye-catching’ for the public authorities. This exercise has been carried out by three working groups under the aegis of the CIDD during the summer of 2010.

The final version of the PNDD has been adopted by the Government in November 2010. [Figure 1] summarizes the different steps that led to the second PNDD.

Figure 1 - Second PNDD: procedure and development

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Figure 2 - The 14 unsustainable trends identified for Luxembourg

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Figure 3 - The 18 'quality objectives' for Luxembourg towards 2050

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Environment-Climate Partnership

This partnership (‘Partenariat pour l’Environnement et le Climat’ – PEC) has been initiated in order to have a careful but open consideration on the future of climate and environment policies in Luxembourg, especially in the context of the stringent objectives for Luxembourg in the EU ‘Climate and Energy Package’ – see climate change mitigation common environmental theme. The PEC is based on a set of meetings, debates and events organised around four working groups that consist of delegates from public administration and civil society, including NGOs. The four themes on which these working groups have to reflect are:

1.    construction, housing and sustainable urban development;

2.    mobility (public transport infrastructure and organisation, innovation and electric mobility, fiscal measures and encouragement);

3.    energy, eco-technologies and research;

4.    biodiversity, forestry, water and agriculture.

Meetings of the working groups started in October 2010. The final objective is to produce, by February 2011, a synthesis document listing measures and actions to be undertaken for each of the four themes. This report will then be open to comments – by being uploaded on the web – and will be debated at the Chamber of Deputies, normally in May 2011.

The results of this wide consultation will be one of the major inputs of the coming second national CO2 reduction action plan – see climate change mitigation common environmental theme. Indeed, in order to have concrete policies and objectives with regard to climate change mitigation that would be adopted by both citizens and the economic community, it is the view of Luxembourg’s authorities that measures, and especially short-term ones, should be based on wide consensus within society, whether these measures relate to the political process or to production and consumption behaviours. The foundations for such a consensus can only be reached through an open discussion between policy-makers and civil society.

The results of the PEC will also propose practical measures to some of the second PNDD objectives and, both processes are actually somehow interlinked [Figure 4, Figure 5].

Figure 4 - PNDD and PEC: a global move

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Figure 5 - PNDD and PEC: roadmap

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The CIDD comprises representatives from the following ministries and administrations: Ministry of State (Prime Minister); Ministry of Foreign Affairs – cooperation & humanitarian relief departments; Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development; Ministry of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses and Tourism; Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure; Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade, including the national statistical institute STATEC; Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training; Ministry of Equal Opportunities; Ministry of Higher Education and Research; Ministry of Family Affairs and Integration; Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Home Affairs and the Greater Region, including its Water Administration; Ministry of Housing; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Social Security; Ministry of Labour and Employment. The only ministries not represented are: Ministry of Culture; Ministry of the Civil Service and Administrative Reform and Ministry of Justice.


Other interesting links

Sustainable development on the website of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure:click here (in French).

Another project involving various stakeholders and which presents obvious links with sustainable development is the ‘PIBien-être’ project (GDP and well-being project) which takes it place in exercises aiming at measuring the progress of society in a long-term perspective (e.g. the ‘Stiglitz Commission’ recommendations) and at going beyond the traditional indicators such as GDP per capita (e.g. the Commission ‘Beyond GDP’ initiative) (in French): click here (in French).



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