Abstract In the EURURALIS project, a chain of models was used to predict the changes in sustainable development indicators for European human well-being, ecology and economy issues, for four alternative scenarios of the future socio-economic development. This paper describes the biodiversity analysis of the project. Models based on general relationships between environmental factors and biodiversity loss were combined with socio-economic, land-use and environmental models to derive data that were integrated into an interactive tool for policy makers. The biodiversity analysis takes into account the effects of land-use change, climate change, fragmentation by major roads, area of unfragmented patches, nitrogen deposition, forestry and disturbance. Results show that biodiversity is projected to decrease between now and 2030 in most countries for all scenarios, indicating that it is unlikely that the EU will be able to fulfill its commitment to stop biodiversity loss by 2010. This is mainly due to urbanization and increase in stress factors, and outweighs the area increase of nature arising from land abandonment. Merits, limitations and uncertainties of this approach to biodiversity assessment are discussed.