The European Union faces several interlinked challenges: how to protect the environment and favour sustainability; how to reduce unemployment and foster competitiveness in a context of growing globalization; how to reduce regional disparities among and within me mb er countries. The recent policy debate has clarified that the above objectives are not a trade off if jointly tackled. In particular, win-win policy options are available to the European Union by an appropriate integration of regulation, macro policy, social policy, fiscal policy and environmental policy. Evidence shows that optimising on each single policy will not meet the needs of the European Union. On the contrary, an integrated approach will make it possible to reach the various objectives, as stated in the Treaty on European Union, in the 5th Environmental Action Programme, in the White Paper on Growth, Competitiveness and Employment. This integrated approach would im plement a genuine sustainable development policy.