In the News: BioSTEP Forum
© European Biotechnology
The following text was published by European Biotechnology and can be accessed here.
The evaluation of the European bioeconomy strategy will take longer than initially planned. According to information given at the Biostep Forum in Brussels, results won't be available before next year and it is still unclear if there will be an update of the strategy adopted in 2012. Several upcoming expert and stakeholder meetings in 2017 will pave the way for a decision in early 2018.
Short story long: After the adoption of the Circular Economy Action Plan in 2015, the Commission decided to examine the contribution of its bioeconomy strategy to the circular economy. The debate whether the bioeconomy strategy needed a revision continued at the Environment Council (ENV) and the DG Research and Innovation in 2016. This year, the Commission expects several expert reports and in June the Bioeconomy Stakeholders Manifesto, a strategic agenda finalised by the European Bioeconomy Panel, which is a group composed of business and primary producers, policy-makers and public administrations, scientists and researchers and civil society organisations. Finally, in November 2017 the evaluation of the strategy is supposed to be completed, and in 2018, the Council plans to take a decision based on the review. If the strategy is then revised, its publication can be expected for late 2018. Previous announcements said that it would be published in 2017.
At yesterday’s Biostep Forum in Brussels, Lino Paula from DG Research and Innovation, said that “the discussion whether there will be a new strategy is still open”. This is precisely why it is so important that “stakeholders get involved and give input now”. The EU-funded project BioSTEP has been initiated to do exactly this: promote engagement and raise awareness for a participative governance of the European Bioeconomy. Yesterday, the consortium invited selected experts to discuss their recommendation for more participation in the bioeconomy in Brussels. In the focus: the role of small and medium-sized enterprises, the necessity of network creation, the importance of regions and effective instruments for public engagement. The input was well received by the European Commission and the Bioeconomy Stakeholder Panel. In the first week of April, the Biostep team plans to publish the policy paper.
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