At the intersection of social, economic and environmental aspects, the sustainable development policy aims to meet "the needs of the present, without compromising on the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".

The Act of 5 May 1997 (only exists in French and Dutch) pertaining to the coordination of federal policy on sustainable development converts Belgium's speeches and international commitments into concrete actions. It aims to develop a comprehensive, transversal and integrated approach of the federal public policies. In order to do this, it provides tools such as the federal reports and plans and creates or empowers specific federal institutional players (CIDD-ICDO, CFDD-FRDO, Task Force of the Planning Bureau, IFDD-FIDO) responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating this coordination policy.

In 2010 the law underwent a major overhaul to:
- reorganise the institutions responsible for the implementation of this coordination,
- simplify the tools,
- bring the policy in line with that of the federal entities and the European Union,
- and above all, establish a federal long-term strategic vision for sustainable development as advocated internationally.

Since 2012, several amendments to the law were approved:
• extension of the term of the current plan (2004-2008) until the approval of the next one,
• amendment in the composition of the CFDD-ICDO,
• replacing the EIDDD-DOEB (Impact Assessment of Decisions on Sustainable Development) by AIR-RIA (impact analysis of regulations)
• creation of a legal basis for the subsidies granted towards sustainable development.

Finally, the term of the plan was coupled with that of the Parliament. Thus, the government formed after elections, now has a year in order to present a new federal plan for sustainable development.

For more information on the coordination of the federal policy on sustainable development, visit websites of the Federal Institute for Sustainable Development (only exists in French and Dutch) and the CIDD-ICDO (only exists in French and Dutch).