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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg 2022

15 Developing Europe: The Formation of Sustainability Concepts and Activities

From the book Greening Europe

  • Elke Seefried


This chapter analyses the formation of sustainability concepts and political activities in Europe. Sustainable development and sustainability are not understood as normative ideas providing timeless solutions to environmental or developmental problems, but as political concepts and a field of action that are subject to historical change. The chapter shows that during the 1990s, sustainable development concepts were Europeanised. The Agenda 21 programme set both governmental Sustainable Development Strategies and local civil society actions in Europe in motion. Also, the concept began to shape the EU’s environmental policy in the 1990s as it accorded well with the Union’s self-image as a community pursuing consensual and balanced solutions to future problems.

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