Ecoeuskadi 2020: Basque sustainable development strategy 2020
Description/achievement of initiative

EcoEuskadi 2020 is a transversal tool designed to position the Basque Country in terms of sustainability, by means of a route map that fosters economic prosperity, social cohesion and equity, and protecting the environment from now until 2020. The conceptual framework underpinning the Strategy preparation process is integration, both in terms of adapting it to the relevant legislative frameworks, and in its endeavour to reach the maximum participation possible.
Source: Ihobe, S.A. of Basque Country
On 5 July 2011, the Basque Government approved the first Strategy for Sustainable Development, which we named EcoEuskadi 2020. This milestone has positioned the Basque Country among Europe's most forward thinking regions in the field of sustainability.
EcoEuskadi 2020 is the benchmark instrument to prepare all sectoral policies for the public sector. It is a joint project, constructed by and for Basque citizens, which sets out the national model that we wish to progress towards over the coming years.
When preparing the Strategy, priority was given to analysing the situation of the Basque Autonomous Community in terms of sustainable development, which involved performing a diagnostics based on indicators relating to the threefold environmental, social and economic dimension. Apart from providing a sound base for establishing the goals and targets of the Strategy, the indicators have provided baseline information that has guided the intense citizen participation process, which has really been the focal area to differentiate and structure EcoEuskadi 2020.


What is the programme?
EcoEuskadi 2020 is ECOnomy, it is ECOlogy and it is the ECHO of the voice of society as a whole.

It is a COUNTRY PROJECT constructed by and for Basque citizens.
A TRANSVERSAL FOCUS that integrates all the environmental, social and economic aspects to guide public policies of the Basque Government towards a sustainable future.
A BENCHMARK INSTRUMENT to build the Basque Country 2020 from now onwards.
How has it been prepared?
A strategy built from bottom up and from top down, where citizen participation is the structural and differential aspect.
INVOLVING THE DIFFERENT BASQUE INSTITUTIONS in a unified process, coordinated by the Basque Government and comprising different multi-departmental and multi-institutional commissions.
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE STRATEGIC PLANS developed by the Basque provincial and local councils.
DEVELOPING AN INTENSE AND BROAD PARTICIPATIVE PROCESS that has enabled the main social stakeholders, the citizens and, in particular, young people to put forward specific proposals and contribute in the strategy construction process from the grassroots.

What is the Mission?
To serve as an integration platform for all the sectoral policies of the Government and other Public Administration to create a national project towards which the Basque Country can progress.
A project constructed with the active participation of citizens, agreeing a series of objectives, guidelines and principles that guarantee its economic, social and environmental sustainability, and establishing milestones to periodically access the progress made in Basque sustainable development.

What is the Vision?
Position the Basque Country at the forefront of sustainable development by 2020.
Advance in the construction of a cohesive country, formed by free citizens, who are actively committed to a competitive and eco-efficient economy, based on education, research, knowledge, innovation and learning; a model that preserves the welfare of its inhabitants and protects the resources that make up its natural heritage.

What are the guiding principles?
Four basic principles that guide the policies and institutional leadership to achieve excellence in Basque sustainable development.
INTERGENERATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY assuming responsibility for future generations.
INCORPORATING THE PERSPECTIVE OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT into the core of all policies, improving coherence and coordination between the different department and areas of sectoral policies.
What are the strategic objectives and their lines of action?

1 To position the Basque Country as an innovative, competitive, eco-efficient and open ECONOMY
1.1To promote an innovative, entrepreneurial and technologically advanced economy.
1.2To encourage the creation of green employment.
1.3To support the internationalisation of companies.

2 To consolidate a fully integrating and cohesive Basque Country based on EMPLOYMENT, education, prevention and solidarity.
2.1. To ensure integration and social cohesion
2.2. To promote prevention, health promotion and personal autonomy as well as equal access to resources from a perspective of social determinants.
2.3. To promote specific, active employment policies.

3 To strengthen SOCIAL PROTECTION systems in order to continue guaranteeing harmonious, healthy and equitable development of people.
3.1. To design a global framework of active policies to favour an increase in the birth rate
3.2. To consolidate the fiscal sustainability of the current welfare state (dependence, guaranteed income, health)

4 To preserve our NATURAL RESOURCES and biodiversity with respectful and balanced planning of the territory, infrastructures, equipment and housing
4.1. To promote a compact city model.
4.2. To reduce pressure on ecosystems and natural resources (soil, water, air and landscape), thus improving their quality.
4.3. To promote comprehensive rural development to preserve the natural values of the territory.

5 To minimise energy dependence on fossil-based energy and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of CLIMATE CHANGE
5.1. To promote the improvement of energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption
5.2. To promote the generation and use of renewable energies
5.3. To mitigate climate change and develop adaptation actions

6 To develop a more sustainable integrated MOBILITY model that facilitates structuring the inland territory and connection with the exterior in better conditions of competitiveness
6.1. To promote more sustainable means of transport
6.2. To achieve accessibility in appropriate and safe mobility conditions, based on integrated infrastructures and services.

7 To build an EDUCATION and quality values system, aimed at achieving flexible academic success and adapting educational and training contents to the lifelong qualifications required by the job market and society, including sustainability in all its dimensions.
7.1. To develop a training system that provides the lifelong skills required for professional and social life, including sustainability.
7.2. To promote training in values, particularly values related to sustainability.
7.3. To promote the international outreach of Basque culture and the elements that define its identity

8 To deploy an innovative, efficient, accessible and transparent PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
8.1. To modernise public management, innovating mechanisms to relate with the public
8.2. To reinforce the efficiency of the Public Administration, reviewing its organisation and distribution of powers, promoting intra and inter-institutional cooperation and strengthening coordination mechanisms
8.3. To advance in social participation formulas and public-private partnership.

9 To contribute from the Basque Country to meet the MILLENNIUM GOALS and, in general, to the sustainable development of the most underprivileged countries.
9.1. To actively contribute to the sustainable development of Third World countries through cooperation projects
9.2. To promote responsible trade and tourism with developing countries

Where do we want the Basque Country to be in 2020?
The Strategy for Sustainable Development identifies the quantitative objectives needed to successfully progress towards the vision established for 2020. In order to control the progress towards the objectives, the Strategy includes a complete system of indicators, whose control will provide a comprehensive vision and facilitate the decision-taking process.

The headline indicators, aligned with the objectives included in the Europe 2020 Strategy, include the quantitative key objectives.

Which are going to be the transversal focuses?
Four priority areas of action that simultaneously impact on the three dimensions of sustainability

How is the Strategy managed?
The Strategy overcomes the departmental vision, promotes policy integration and involves the whole public sector and the general public.

EcoEuskadi 2020 is a national strategy promoted by the Basque Country. However, its success depends on the commitment and ability of all Government departments, their organisms and public authorities, including local authorities, as well as those that provide public, business and individual services.
LED BY THE BASQUE PREMIER, in its development, implementation and promotion process in its different phrases and, most notably, the awareness and communication process among the public and economic and social agents.
COORDINATED BY THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OFFICE (SDO), the body that will support the process to implement the Strategy, by facilitating the coordinated work between the Basque Public Institutions overall and fostering the sustainability policies in the sector policies.

How will the Strategy be included in sectoral policies?
The incorporation of the sustainability principles in the policies of the Basque Public Administration (plans, programs, strategies, etc.) must:
Follow the GUIDELINES set out in the EcoEuskadi 2020 Strategy
In the policies.
In Department governance and leadership.
In the people of the Department..
In the Department operating management (procedures and procurement, maintenance, etc.)

How will the process be monitored and assessed?
The EcoEuskadi 2020 Strategy will begin a procedure of implementation, monitoring assessment and continuous improvement.
ANNUAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT REPORT. Prepared by the SDO, it will assess the level of progress of implementing the actions included in the Strategy. It will be published online and will serve as the basis for public participation.
BIANNUAL SUSTAINABILITY BAROMETER. This public survey to assess the course of public opinion on key aspects of sustainability and perception of the progress made.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FORUM. This annual meeting will a specific monitoring and participation instrument; a space to discuss the annual assessment reports of the Strategy.
REVIEW OF THE STRATEGY IN 2015. It will be reviewed by the SDO and will be approved by the Regional Cabinet prior to beginning the review process of the Departmental Strategies.

How will the public be involved?
In the same way as in the process to prepare the Strategy, its monitoring, assessment and review shall retain the two-way communication flow with a large number of economic, social and institutional agents, who will continue to provide their input and proposals for actions.

Apart from the Sustainable Development Forum as a space for information, contrast and participation, the Basque Government will ensure at all times a line of public communication and awareness raising about the sustainability policies and actions.


The Basque Strategy for Sustainable Development has involved public debate and citizens throughout the preparation process from the diagnosis to proposal phrase. This has all added value and left its mark.

How and for whom?
Participation, the pillar to differentiate and structure EcoEuskadi 2020
Onsite and virtual PARTICIPATION CHANNELS were created.
PARTICIPATION OF ANY INTERESTED PERSON AND ENTITY, social and economic agents, institutions and, most notably, young people.
Mainly implemented by means of DISCUSSION GROUPS and POPULATION SURVEYS
All the documentation generated has been analysed and RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS extracted as input for the final contents of the Strategy.

The objective: to generate public debate and enrich EcoEuskadi 2020
The social debate has aimed to generate ideas and compare different visions and action proposals to tackle the main Basque challenges for the future and include the main conclusions to the Strategy for Sustainable Development.

The participatory process has meant a quantitative and qualitative leap for Basque society and contributed to
 Creating relational and meeting spaces
 Creating debates that contributed shared knowledge, reflection and learning
 Strengthen the commitment of the general public to the approach and direction for the future of the Basque Country

The issues dealt with, which varied according to the point in the development process, set out:
 The main challenge of sustainability in the Basque Country
 The 2020 Vision of a sustainable Basque Country.
 The 8 key to sustainability in the Basque Country
 The strategic objectives, the lines of action and the actions of the Strategy.

EcoEusakdi 2020 participation in FIGURES:
50 physical and virtual spaces set up
78 onsite meetings or workshops held
388 entities represented
2519 delegates and 2368 key players, 1616 of whom are young people
832 users of the online open spaces and social networks
Over 9350 hours of participatory spaces dedicated to EcoEuskadi 2020.
72 participants in 9 future discussion groups-workshops
1200 telephone interviews of Basque citizens
Which have been the results?
Participation in EcoEusakdi 2020 has been first rate and is thus reflected in the results.

The KEY REFLECTIONS contributed by the participation in EcoEuskadi 2020 summarise the main lines on thought where there is consensus or a majority current of opinion.

EcoEuskadi 2020, the Basque Strategy for Sustainable Development, is necessary.
EcoEuskadi 2020 needs social and political leadership.
The Basque Country needs combine joint social responsibility with the technological and technical solutions.
The social agents and the citizens assume the challenge the challenging of progressing towards a new model of more sustainable values and behaviour.
People, values and efficient government and a new way of governing need to be at the core of EcoEuskadi 2020.

The MAIN PROPOSALS focus on how to tackle the Basque challenges and strategic objectives in the near future and until 2020.
A SERIES OF SHARED PROPOSALS to tackle each of the 9 EcoEuskadi 2020 Strategic Objectives and which are described in detail in the Strategy documents.
The qualifying and PERSONALIZED CONTRIBUTIONS that each participant group has provided for EcoEuskadi 2020 according to its situation, experience and course has also been added to the Strategy as an important outcome of the participatory process.
Specific opinions and reflection of CITIZENS, YOUNG PEOPLE, INSTITUTIONS, SOCIO-ECONOMIC AGENTS and the OPEN SPACES, which are set out in the Strategy documents.

How has this been reflected in the Strategy?
Participation, a key tool and a way to construct EcoEuskadi 2020

The participatory results has powered and enriched EcoEuskadi 2020 and has positively conditioned the selection of the priority areas for action of the Strategy.
There is CONSIDERABLE AGREEMENT between the results of the participation and the contents of the Strategy, from the EcoEuskadi 2020 vision to the proposals for action.
There is a MAJORITY CONSENSUS about the need to tackle the future of the country from a shared role of the institutions, socio-economic agents and the general public.
The approach and the participation proposals have been fundamental when selecting the VISION, LINES OF ACTION and the TRANSVERSAL FOCUSES of the Strategy.
This is all REFLECT IN THE FINAL CONTENTS OF THE STRATEGY, in the approach and in the processing of key issues.
The sustainable development forum
A specific participation and monitoring instrument

EcoEuskadi 2020 envisages, in its management model, the setting up of the Sustainable Development Forum, a tool to provide continuity to participate in the implementation of the Strategy.
a SPACE FOR INFORMATION, CONTRASTING AND MONITORING for internal and external agents to participate in the implementation of the Strategy.
An ONSITE ANNUAL MEETING to submit the annual Strategy assessment reports to public debate.
A forum to encourage the necessary COLLECTIVE AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND COMMITMENT to progress towards the national project that defines EcoEuskadi 2020.

Preparing the Basque Strategy for Sustainable Development has set the objective of a national project for 2020 and is based on a diagnosis of the situation of the Basque Autonomous Community.

In order to provide the appropriate information to prepare EcoEuskadi 2020, a analysis was conducted of the indicators related to each of the dimensions of sustainable development and its benchmarking with the European Union (EU). The European Union Indicator System of the Strategy for Sustainable Development was therefore used and it envisages monitoring a panel of indicators that provide an overall view of the process of the EU in terms of achieving sustainable development objectives.
How do they contribute to the Ecoeuskadi 2020 Strategy?
They were the information basis for the participatory session and to set the Strategy goals and targets.

When working on EcoEuskadi 2020, the most important key indicators of the European panel were analysed:
Indicators RELATING TO THE OPERATIVE OBJECTIVES of the EU Strategy for Sustainable Development (Level II).

Implementation methodologies

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure


Progress reports
Goal 8

Basic information
Time-frame: - 2011
Contact information
United Nations