What is covered in the EU Bio-economy Strategy?

The EU Bio-economy Strategy adopted in February 2012 defines the bio-economy as "the production of renewable biological resources and the conversion of these resources and waste streams into value added products, such as food, feed, bio-based products as well as bio-energy".

The major aim of the strategy, therefore, is "to pave the way to a more innovative, resource efficient and competitive society that reconciles food security with the sustainable use of biotic renewable resources for industrial purposes, while ensuring environmental protection".

Specifically, the strategy identifies five objectives: 

  • Ensuring food security;
  • Managing natural resources sustainably;
  • Reducing dependence on non-renewable resources;
  • Mitigating and adapting to climate change and
  • Creating jobs and maintaining EU competitiveness.


What was updated?

The launch of the updated Bio-economy strategy for Europe took place on Monday 22 October as part of an event held under the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, 2nd half of 2018.

The review of the EU Bio-economy Strategy concluded that  the scope of the actions needs to be refocussed. Therefore, the updated Bio-economy Strategy highlights the importance of regional bio-economy strategies, of rural renaissance and of sustainable management of natural resources.  

The updated Bio-economy Strategy proposes three main action areas:

  • Strengthen and scale up the bio-based sectors, unlock investments and markets
  • Deploy local bio-economies rapidly across the whole of Europe
  • Understand the ecological boundaries of the bio-economy

The 2018 update of the strategy aims to accelerate the deployment of a sustainable European bio-economy so as to maximise its contribution towards the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as the Paris Agreement.

The update is also in line with the new European policy priorities, in particular the renewed Industrial Policy Strategy, the Circular Economy Action Plan and the Communication on Accelerating Clean Energy Innovation, all of which highlight the importance of a sustainable, circular bio-economy to achieve their goals.

Many European regions have also included priorities related to bio-economy in their Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation.

Image credit: Photo by Alejandro Barrón from Pexels