EU Maritime Transport Policies

   Social Sustainability


Social Sustainable Development

In 21st century, the concept of sustainability has entered the public sphere. While in the 1980s and 1990s it was restricted to the scientific and policy-making debates, nowadays it is spread all around us. The OECD report (2008) defines sustainable development as:

· Spreading the benefits of economic growth to all citizens
· Turning brown-fields into ecologically sound urban housing projects
· Increasing educational opportunities for both boys and girls
· Innovating industrial processes to be more energy-efficient and less polluting
· Including citizens and stakeholders in policy-making processes


The EU has demonstrated its commitment to sustainable development and defined sustainable dimensions to many policy fields. In this respect, the EU social sustainability focuses on:


1) The Commission’s Renewed Social Agenda – it presents an integrated and holistic approach to different policy initiatives. It highlights the importance of societies.


2) Corporate Social Responsibility – it incentivises European enterprises to enhance Europe’s capacity for sustainable development. This is intensified via different debates and dialogues of stakeholders.


Social policy progress has been made in the following fields:


1) Social inclusion, demography and migration – a challenge still remains to make the most of Europe’s demographic potential such as raising employment rates, productivity and successful integration of migrants. The Commission made recommendations on the inclusion of people excluded from the labour market in October 2008. The EU Structural Funds support member-states in their efforts to tackle poverty and social inclusion (some €10 billion has been allocated).


The Commission produced “Ageing Report” in 2009 that looked at the economic and budgetary impact of an ageing population over the long-term until 2060. As part of the Action Plan on Ageing Well in the Information Society, an Action Programme for Research in Ambient Assisted Living has been adopted (some €150 million has been allocated).   


On migration, the Commission works to improve the management of migrant flows, to coordinate national policies and combat illegal migration.


2) Public health – the EU has adopted its Health Strategy in 2007 as the aim is to achieve progress and sustainability in the lives of EU citizens. Work is being done on major and chronic diseases such as cancer and rare diseases. Several policy initiatives focused on mental health, alcohol, obesity and tobacco as well as combating HIV/AIDS. The European Community Health indicators provide information on the health status within the EU. The Commission also contributes to better health through EU-funded research and advanced e-health services.


3) Global poverty and sustainable development challenges – the EU cooperates with third countries and regions, both bilaterally and in the context of multilateral processes, such as the UN Commission on Sustainable development, UNEP and other relevant UN bodies, the OECD and G8.


Cooperation with European neighbourhood policy partners promotes sustainable development objectives. Regional dialogue has been reinforced via the Union for the Mediterranean, the Black Sea Synergy and the Eastern Partnership.


The EU Sustainable Development Strategy is to create a future of prosperity, equity and well-being.

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   Glossary Terms


In general terms, is the ability to maintain balance of a certain process or state in any system. In economics terms, sustainability interfaces with economic processes via social and ecological consequences of any activity. The challenge is to curb and manage economic development without increasing resource use and environmental impact.
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  Additional Information for Social Sustainability
   Subject News
  22/03/2012 - NYK Included in the World's Most Ethical Companies for Fifth Consecutive Year
01/08/2011 - Increasing co‑financing rates for EU funds - boosting European economic and social recovery
25/07/2011 - European Commission to help small businesses recover an extra €600 million in cross-border debts
03/05/2011 - Compendium of public CSR policies in the EU 2011
08/04/2011 - Sustainability Reporting - EU rules and observations
06/04/2011 - Corporate Social Responsibility Study on Responsible Supply Chain Management
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   Linked Topics
  EU Transport policy and its instruments
Human resourcing - education and training in the maritime sector

Key Performance Indicators
   Related Documents
  Code of Practice on Societal Integration of Ports.pdf
Study on the incorporation of Social Considerations in Public Procurement in the EU.pdf
Joint Employment Report 2009-2010.pdf
2009 Review of the EU Strategy for Sustainable Development.pdf
European Council Conclusions - December 2009.pdf
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   Lessons Learned
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   Information Sources
  DG Development
DG Health and Consumers
DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities
OECD Sustainable Development
UK Govt Sustainable Development
EUROSTAT Sustainable Development Indicators
European Commission - Environment
Sustainable Development - Europa
Calvert Social Index
FTSE4Good Index Series
Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes
European Sustainable Development Strategy
UN Commission for Sustainable Development
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   Related Projects
   Related Policies
  Environmental Sustainability
Economic Sustainability
Europe 2020 Economic strategy
   Related Products
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