The FPB’s studies cover 11 main themes: Energy, Environmental economic accounts and analyses, International economy, Labour market, Macroeconomic forecasts and analyses, Public finances, Sectoral accounts and analyses, Social protection, demography and prospective studies, Structural studies, Sustainable development, Transport.
The 1997 law regarding the coordination of federal sustainable development policy entrusts the Federal reports on sustainable development drawn by the FPB with the task of publishing regularly “a thorough evaluation of the existing situation and of the policy carried out to achieve the goals set in the long-term vision”. The task of assessing the existing situation is fulfilled using indicators on sustainable development. The task of assessing the carried out policies regarding sustainable development includes both the strategic and participative aspects of these policies as well as the plans.
Assessing the existing situation. The assessment uses a set of indicators that give an overall picture of the social, environmental, economic and institutional trends observed in Belgium. The trends are assessed by comparing the current value of the indicators with the political objectives that Belgium, the European Union and the United Nations have specified in their sustainable development strategies. For each indicator, the successive reports have made it possible to systematically select the following information (on each page of the website www.indicators.be: relevance to sustainable development, definition, data and analysis (for Belgium, the European Union and the World; with graph and table), strategic goals, assessment of past trends and sources.
Assessing the strategic and participatory aspects of the sustainable development policy. The assessments published in the Federal reports on sustainable development fall within the scope of the Federal strategy for sustainable development which organizes the interactions between the various policy actors and tools to improve decision-making. This strategy aims to achieve by 2050 the goals of the long-term vision adopted in 2013 by the government. The policy actors are the Federal Council for Sustainable Development, the Interdepartmental Commission for Sustainable Development, the Federal Public Service for Sustainable Development and the FPB. The reports assess the interaction between the actors, including the functioning of the participation mechanisms. They also focus on the interaction between the short and very long term (2050) and on the development here and in the rest of the world.
Assessing the planning for a sustainable development. The Federal sustainable development plans are part of federal strategies and fit also within five-year cycles. They are drafted by the Interdepartmental Commission for Sustainable Development, with the support of the Federal Public Service for Sustainable Development. The implementation of the decisions taken in each plan is assessed ex post in the Federal reports on sustainable development. The reports also assess their consistency with other plans and their integration in overall policy. That is why thematic and sector-specific plans are also taken into account in the assessment.
Case studies on some measures of the sustainable development policy. The ex-post policy assessments of the Federal reports also examine in depth the implementation of a series of specific measures of the Federal sustainable development plans and the evolution of the issues addressed by these measures.