After the adoption in 2015 of the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the historic Paris climate deal, 2016 and the coming years must be years of delivery – delivery of more ambitious EU climate and energy policies, and, more generally, of policies that mainstream sustainability and reduce Europe’s environmental footprint. This requires the systematic and comprehensive implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals –  both at EU and Member State level –  as well as concrete progress in developing and implementing specific policies aimed at protecting biodiversity, greening agriculture, promoting a genuine circular economy and eliminating environmentally harmful subsidies to mention a few. In short, the EU needs to undergo fundamental reform.

Reform has been high on the EU agenda, in particular since the start of 2016 triggered by the UK’s demands linked to its referendum on EU membership. However, sustainability was notably absent from that debate and the result of the referendum shows clearly that the UK’s renegotiation package, and its focus on improving competitiveness through deregulation, failed to convince a majority of the UK public to vote to remain in the EU.

The EEB conference will be one of the first opportunities for those concerned about the environment across Europe to come together and take stock of this development and its implications for the environment and sustainability. We will debate how the EU needs to now embark on an agenda of transformational change that puts the interests of people and planet first. The EU has long promoted more globalization, open societies and open economies. The challenge for the EU now is to transform itself into a global leader that is capable of managing the social and environmental impacts of this. Within this framework, the conference will dig deeper into three issues that are high on the agenda this autumn:

  • Biodiversity: the European Commission is expected to conclude its evaluation of the Birds and Habitats Directive through a Fitness Check by December. This is later than expected, but given the continuing loss of biodiversity in the EU, there is no time to waste and experts at the conference will discuss the best ways of reaching Europe’s existing biodiversity goals and safeguarding Europe’s ecosystems. For more background reading about Biodiversity, please visit this page.

Including high-level speakers from the European institutions, academia and civil society, the EEB conference will unleash new ideas, inspire and inform.


About the European Environmental Bureau (EEB)    

The EEB is Europe’s largest federation of environmental NGOs, bringing together over 150 civil society organisations from around 30 European countries with a combined membership of an estimated 15 million people.  The EEB stands for social and environmental justice, participatory democracy and sustainability. We promote the principles of prevention, precaution and polluters’ accountability, and seek systemic change for our current economic model. For over 40 years, the EEB has been the voice of its members and environmentally concerned citizens, leading the fight for a strong environmental and sustainability policy inside the EU and at the global level.

About Umweltdachverband

Umweltdachverband is an umbrella organisation for 37 Austrian environmental NGOs in the fields of nature and alpine conservation, environmental protection and renewable energy. Located in Vienna, it has about 1.4 million members. The organisation focuses on comprehensive environmental protection and on maintaining the diversity of genes, species and ecosystems (biodiversity) as well as on the sustainable expansion of renewable energy and conservation of resources in order to address the challenges of climate change. Other core issues are the sustainable conservation of the resource water, the strengthening of rural development, the promotion of Corporate Social Responsiblilty (CSR) and the protection of the Alps. The Umweltdachverband is also home to the EU Environmental Bureau (EU Umweltbüro), which serves as an interface and central information platform on European and national environmental policies. Umweltdachverband is a long-standing member of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and also serves as the Austrian member on the EEB Board.

Organizers: European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and Umweltdachverband


The EEB and Umweltdachverband gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the LE 14-20 funding line and the EU LIFE Programme.

This website reflects the organizers’ views and does not commit the donors.