191/2013 - 12 December 2013

Sustainable Development in the EU

A statistical assessment of progress in
sustainable development
Are there reductions in pollutant emissions in the EU? Is there a trend towards more sustainable consumption
patterns in the EU? Is life expectancy continuing to increase? Has the employment rate of older persons in the EU
increased? Is there a reduction in the EU greenhouse gas emissions? Is there an increase in EU financing for
developing countries?
Answers to these questions and many more can be found in the fifth Monitoring report on Sustainable
Development in the European Union1, published today by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European
Union. The EU Sustainable Development Strategy2 brings together the many strands of economic, social and
environmental policy under one overarching objective – to continually improve the quality of life and well-being for
present and future generations. Eurostat’s role is to produce a monitoring report every two years based on the EU
set of Sustainable Development Indicators3.

As Walter Radermacher, Director General of Eurostat, says in the foreword of the publication: “The Eurostat
monitoring report, based on the EU set of sustainable development indicators provides an objective, statistical
picture of progress towards the goals and objectives of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy. I hope that the
fifth edition of this publication will be a valuable contribution on behalf of the European Union to the global debate
on the future of sustainable development and the challenges lying ahead of us all - citizens, policy makers and

The Monitoring report is accompanied by a video4 which presents sustainable development in a simple and clear
manner as well as the evolution of a number of indicators.

Evaluation of the changes of the Sustainable Development Indicators
The Sustainable Development Indicators are grouped into ten themes: socioeconomic development, sustainable
consumption and production, social inclusion, demographic changes, public health, climate change and energy,
sustainable transport, natural resources, global partnership and good governance. Twelve headline indicators have
been chosen to give an overall picture of whether the EU has achieved progress towards sustainable development.
The evaluation of these indicators is based, as far as possible, on the evolution from 2000 until the latest year
available for the EU275. Progress is evaluated depending on how favourable or unfavourable the developments
have been over recent years, and is represented visually through weather symbols.
For further analysis, each chapter in the Monitoring report provides detailed assessment of the themes, covering all
in all over 100 indicators.

eu/environment/eussd/ 3.eurostat. meaning a constant increase or decrease.europa. 1.ec.Evaluation of changes in the Sustainable Development headline indicators. The EU27 aggregate is used instead of the EU28 since.eu/eurostat .eu Mariana POPOVA Tel: +352-4301-36 480 mariana. from 2000 Headline indicator (latest year available) Theme Socioeconomic development Evaluation of change Real GDP per capita (2012) Sustainable consumption and Resource productivity (2011) production Social inclusion People at risk of poverty and social exclusion* (2012) Demographic changes Employment rate of older workers** (2012) Public health Life expectancy at birth*** (2011) Greenhouse gas emissions (2011) Climate change and energy Share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption*** (2011) Primary energy consumption (2011) Sustainable transport Energy consumption of transport relative to GDP (2011) Common bird index (2011) Natural resources Fish catches from stocks outside safe biological limits (2010) Global partnership Official development assistance*** (2012) Good governance No headline indicator : * ** Evolution from 2008 Due to a change in the methodology. PDF-version available on the Eurostat website: http://epp. it means that the observed trend is continuous over time. If the symbols are paler.com/embed/P5VkGWAdH_8 5.popova@ec. EU275. the evaluation of this indicator is not comparable with evaluations made in previous editions of the Monitoring Report *** Evolution from 2004 Explanations of the symbols: : Changes are clearly favourable in relation to Sustainable Development objectives : No or moderately favourable changes in relation to Sustainable Development objectives : Changes are moderately unfavourable in relation to Sustainable Development objectives : Changes are clearly unfavourable in relation to Sustainable Development objectives If the symbols are clear. Issued by: Eurostat Press Office For further information about the data: Louise CORSELLI-NORDBLAD Tel: +352-4301-33 444 eurostat-pressoffice@ec. it means that the observed trend is more volatile.eu/portal/page/portal/sdi/indicators 4.youtube.europa. which became a member of the European Union on 1 July 2013.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-02-13-237/EN/KS-02-13-237-EN. at the time of writing the report. For more information: http://ec.eu Eurostat news releases on the internet: http://ec.eurostat.europa. Sustainable Development in the European Union from Eurostat. many of the indicators did not include data for Croatia. The whole set of Sustainable Development Indicators is available on the Eurostat website: http://epp.europa.europa. The video is available at the following link: http://www.PDF 2.ec.europa.