The Commission seeks an economy more innovative and more sustainable for Europe

The strategy and action plan proposed by the European Commission is addressed to shift the European economy towards greater and more sustainable use of renewable resources. According to the Commission, this plan will help to get renewable biological resources for secure and healthy food and feed, as well as for materials, energy, and other products.

The European Commission has proposed a strategy and action plan, “Innovating for Sustainable Growth: a Bioeconomy for Europe”, for sustainable bioeconomy in Europe. With this, the Commission intends to get a more innovative and low-emissions economy, reconciling demands for sustainable agriculture and fisheries, food security, and the sustainable use of renewable biological resources for industrial purposes, while ensuring biodiversity and environmental protection. Recently, MEPs called for an urgent transition to a low-carbon economy.

The strategy presented is based in investment in research, innovation and skills for the bioeconomy. This should include EU funding, national funding, private investment and enhancing synergies with other policy initiatives. Also in development of markets and competitiveness in bioeconomy sectors by a sustainable intensification of primary production, conversion of waste streams into value-added products, as well as mutual learning mechanisms for improved production and resource efficiency. And the strategy is also based in reinforcing policy coordination and stakeholder engagement, through the creation of a Bioeconomy Panel, a Bioeconomy Observatory and regular Stakeholder Conferences.

In addition, the Commission assures that the EU bioeconomy already has a turnover of nearly €2 trillion and employs more than 22 million people, 9% of total employment in the EU. It includes agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food and pulp and paper production, as well as parts of chemical, biotechnological and energy industries. Furthermore, each euro invested in EU-funded bioeconomy research and innovation is estimated to trigger €10 of value added in bioeconomy sectors by 2025.