Local Agenda 21 (LA 21) may be regarded as one of the most enduring and possibly most effective outcomes of the 1992 Rio de Janeiro 'Earth Summit'. In Europe alone, approximately 4000 cities, municipalities at regional and local level, and regional authorities are now engaged in a LA 21 process of some kind. This paper reports on the main findings of the recent Local Authorities' Self-Assessment of Local Agenda 21 (LASALA) project, which conducted a Europe-wide research programme into the European LA 21 initiative. The research demonstrates the significant levels of commit ment to the LA 21 process amongst European local government, and some notable achievements in sustainable development policies within a very short space of time. Although there is still a long way to go, the LASALA research indicates that LA 21 is an effective policy vehicle for encouraging and supporting sustainable development initiatives at the local level in Europe.