16 EU Member States led by Finland: Bioeconomy must stand out at core of next Commission’s Work Programme

News - Published 26.4.2024

According to the joint statement of the For Forest group composed of four forested countries of the European Union, a sustainable bioeconomy must be at the core of the next European Commission’s Work Programme. A total of 16 EU Member States have joined the statement of Finland, Sweden, Austria and Slovenia to be discussed at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on Monday 29 April.

The elections of the European Parliament will take place on 6-9 June 2024 and a new European Commission will take office soon after that. One of Finland’s key targets for the next Commission’s Work Programme for 2024–2029 is promoting the clean transition and the bioeconomy and circular economy.

At the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 29 April, the For Forest group of the forested EU countries, chaired by Finland and composed of Finland, Sweden, Austria and Slovenia, will present as an information item that a sustainable bioeconomy and the role of forests as a source of sustainable wellbeing in the EU must be recognised in the next European Commission’s Work Programme. The item is supported by the Bulgarian, Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian and Slovak delegations.

“Promoting the bioeconomy is important for the competitiveness and success of the whole EU. A forest-based bioeconomy offers solutions to reducing critical dependencies and reaching targets related to climate and sustainability, and innovations in many different sectors,” Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Sari Essayah says.

“With this joint statement of the For Forest group, we wish to ensure that forests and a sustainable bioeconomy that are important for the competitiveness, sustainable growth and self-sufficiency of the EU will continue to have a strong role in the next Commission’s work,” Minister Essayah says.

List of means to be included in the next Commission’s Work Programme

According to the statement, a sustainable forest bioeconomy offers excellent opportunities to support the shared interests of the EU – through the bioeconomy we can add value to products of sustainable biological origin, create sustainable growth, support rural areas, improve self-sufficiency, and strengthen competitiveness and employment.

The sustainable forest-based bioeconomy already reduces greenhouse gas emissions within the EU and has the potential to play a key role in reaching the climate objectives, reducing dependence on fossil-based and non-renewable raw materials and promoting a circular economy. This means that ensuring the wellbeing of forests and a successful sustainable bioeconomy will also strengthen the adaptation capacity and self-sufficiency of the European Union.

The statement lists a number of measures that the European Commission should take to utilise the opportunities offered by the bioeconomy. To make full use of the opportunities of the forest sector and support private investments and innovations, the bioeconomy should be part of the EU’s industrial policy. The goal should be to enhance the market access of sustainable innovations and new products and services. It is also important to update the EU’s bioeconomy strategy to support the development of a sustainable bioeconomy to reflect the changes in the operating environment and changing needs.

The Commission should recognize that bio-based products substitute for products made of non-renewable natural resources and promote their market uptake and reduce the regulatory barriers.

This comprises streamlined permit procedures, further development of the coordination and coherence of policies, stronger collaboration between private and academic sectors, and a better capacity to identify the opportunities of companies operating in the bioeconomy sector. In addition, funding for bioeconomy and biotechnology development should be recognised in the relevant funding programmes of the EU.


Agriculture and Fisheries Council 29 April 2024


Tapio Luoma-aho
Special Adviser to Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Sari Essayah
+358 50 4727040

Erno Järvinen
Senior Ministerial Adviser, Head of Forests and Bioenergy Unit
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
+358 29 516 2150

Tapio Kytölä
Senior Specialist, Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU
+32 478 62 51 38

Press release form Finlands Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 26.4.2024