Activities, programmes and initiatives for the support of Sustainable Development in Europe were launched both at national and at EU-level. They are based on the principles of the European Sustainability Strategy which was adopted at the EU-summit in Gothenburg in 2001 and renewed in 2006.
The objective of the EU sustainability strategy is an integrated policy approach, intended to change society and to result in more sustainability in production and consumption. In this context, climate change and climate-protecting energy, sustainable transport, sustainable production and consumption, improved management of natural resources, damage to health as well as society-related changes due to demographic change, migration and the spread of poverty are regarded to be the great challenges of society. The strategy integrates the objectives of the 6th Environment Action Programme and supplements the Lisbon-Strategy for Sustainable Growth, Employment and Competition. As an overall strategy, it has also an effect on the research and innovation policy in Europe.
The sustainability principle is reflected in the 7th EU Research Framework Programme (FP7) as a cross-sectional aspect. Thus, the cooperation in the field of research and development from 2007 – 2013 is subordinate to this principle. The related interdisciplinarity and integration of actors from the field of industry and society represent a great chance for German researchers. Apart from the FP7, there are further instruments for networking and transnational research funding that provide possibilities for cooperation.
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