EPSD - European Panel on Sustainable Development


EPSD is a network of universities and other research organisations. University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology together with Lund University and individual researchers at the Charles University in Prague and the London School of Economics have established a European Panel for Sustainable Development, EPSD. The Centre for Environment and Sustainability (GMV) in Göteborg is the lead organisation.

The purpose is to serve as an independent academic body for critical reviews and actions on EU policies but also as a pool of knowledge which can be used in the EU work for sustainable development.


Sustainable Shipping in the European Union

The report “Sustainable Shipping in the European Union” is a study with the aim of mapping what is currently being done on sustainable shipping within the European Union. Which are the existing directives, rules and regulations, and are there any gaps or loopholes in the legislations?

The report “Sustainable Shipping in the European Union” provides background material for an upcoming review on sustainable shipping in the European Union. The report presents a large variety of policies and legislation covering a wide scope of EU policy sectors, as well as integrated approaches beyond sectoral policy-making. It was found that relevant actions at the EU level has been addressed by three main strategic EU policies:


  • a Common Transport policy
  • an Integrated Maritime Policy
  • a  Maritime Transport Strategy


It was concluded that much proposals, recommendations and action points overlap in the three strategies. This causes confusion and repetetiveness of maritime actions at the EU level, which could have an effect on the overall impact. It also makes it less clear who is accountable for reaching the different sustainability objectives that concern shipping.

The study identified some major gaps in both policies and knowledge. The research policy was considered inadequate for fast deployment of sustainable technology and regulatory and market failures hindered the development of a multimodal transport system. It was also concluded that marine knowledge still remains very scattered and cost-ineffective.


The report also identified gaps in the following specific issues:

  • Ballast Water Management
  • NOx Emissions
  • Ship Recycling
  • Greenhouse Gases
  • Sea basin strategies for the North and Black Seas


The report describes the actual knowledge state, defines areas where new research could contribute in closing knowledge gaps, and gives a compilation of directives and policy documents concerning sustainable shipping in a European perspective.

If you have any questions, please contact Maria Svane at GMV:

Earlier reports, produced by the EPSD:

In 2004, two reports were presented for members of the EU parliament and commissioners as well as the media in Brussels. “From Here to Sustainability ‐ Is the Lisbon/Göteborg agenda delivering?” was put forward as an independent contribution from academics to the mid-term review of the Lisbon strategy for growth, competitiveness and jobs. The second report “Make the Kok‐report sustainable!” was produced by the EPSD as a reflection on, and a response to, the mid-term review on the Lisbon strategy chaired by the former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Wim Kok.

In 2006 the report “Towards a ”Smart Growth” Strategy for Sustainable Development” were presented in a similar fashion. The aim was to contribute to the re-launch of the EU sustainable development strategy. It contained a critical assessment of “A Platform for Action”, the proposal for an updated strategy put forward by the European Commission.

In 2010, the report TAKING CHILDREN SERIOUSLY - How the EU Can Invest in Early Childhood Education for a Sustainable Future" was presented at a seminar in Brussels.The reports invents present research on children’s interest and ability to understand questions on the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

University of Gothenburg and Chalmers have a tradition of involvement in learning and education for sustainable development. Major international conferences and workshops in 2001, 2004 and 2006 led to “The Göteborg recommendations on Education on Education for Sustainable Development”.



Last modified: February 22, 2013
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