Swedish Presidency of the Council is rightly putting Bioeconomy back at the top of EU agenda

Joint Statement, 25/04/23

The publication of the progress report on the EU Bioeconomy strategy and the events organised under the Swedish Presidency of the EU Council proves that a new impetus must be given to bioeconomy. Bioeconomy is one of those silent revolutions that provides many concrete solutions to sustainable transitions. Big miss in the Green Deal, Europe is moving too slow considering the added value that could be generated by an upscale of bioeconomy especially in rural areas.

Ten years after the first EU Bioeconomy Strategy was adopted, we consider that more can be done at EU and Member States level to enable its development. The bioeconomy sectors and their role in decarbonising Europe, despite many concrete achievements, remains relatively poorly understood by the general public and its decision makers.

That is why we welcome the newly adopted Council conclusions on bioeconomy with a focus on rural areas’ socio-economic and environmental sustainability, and the key role of farmers, forest owners and managers and agri- and forest cooperatives in achieving this. These conclusions should serve as a basis for a debate that needs to be continued with EU institutions, Member States and relevant stakeholders.

Alongside the Council conclusions, we consider that EU institutions and Member States should focus on the “four S”: Scale, Speed and Skills and with Sustainability as a cross-cutting issue. To increase speed and scale in implementing bioeconomy, the European Commission should consider introducing bioeconomy as a specific objective in other policies, and instruments in addition to the CAP. The sustainable management of natural resources is and should continue to be at the core of the bioeconomy strategies and initiatives.  When it comes to skills and knowledge more effort should be considered to support education and training in regions and rural areas that only marginally use their potential

To prolong this important debate Ceja, CEPF, Copa and Cogeca and Eustafor will organize on 30 June a joint seminar with the participation of the Swedish Presidency, the European Commission, Bioeast initiative that will focus on some key asks from the Council conclusions. The conclusions of this event will be used as recommendations from the primary producers to the future European Parliament and Commission but also to the Member States to increase their political commitment and have bioeconomy on their priority list for the next period.

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