“The Bioeconomy isn’t just something for the future,
it is already part of our lives”
Strasbourg, 10 March 2015: Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen in charge of Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness attended the kick-off meeting of the “Bioeconomy” working group of the European Parliament Intergroup on “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development” chaired by Miapetra Kumpula-Natri MEP.
“Where’s the Bioeconomy: update your knowledge” was the title of the event, which assessed the actual and potential contribution of the European bioeconomy sector in the efforts towards a more energy efficient, resource efficient and sustainable Union.
MEP Kumpula-Natri highlighted the remarkable size of bioeconomy-related business in the European economy, with an annual turnover of more than 2 trillion Euros.
Within the Horizon 2020 program, the funds allocated to the bioeconomy represent an investment of 4,5 billion Euros, with large contributions from industry in addition.
Vice-President Jyrki Katainen stressed that if Europe manages to ensure a competitive and stable market for bio-based economy, this will create the basis and the incentives to expand on a reliable business model. Yet, a level-playing field as well as clear and comprehensive regulation must be ensured.
Mr. Katainen underlined that the high environmental standards that Europe has put in place doesn’t have to be seen as an obstacle, but as an opportunity to step up innovative solutions and job creation.
The recently launched European Bioeconomy Alliance present at the dinner pleaded for clear and predictable policy frameworks in order to improve competitiveness and attract further investments in the bioeconomy.
Participants to the meeting included MEP Linnea Engström, MEP Henna Virkkunen, MEP Sean Kelly, MEP Paavo Väyrynen, MEP Anneli Jäätteenmäki, as well as stakeholder representatives from the Bio-based Industries Consortium, EuropaBio, CEPI, Copa-Cogeca, CEFS, CEPF, ePURE, Starch Europe, and METSA.