The new EU forest strategy

Taking into account the far-reaching societal and political changes in the past 15 years, the 1998 EU Forestry Strategy needs to be updated.

Needs to reflect current challenges and policy objectives

The new strategy needs to reflect current challenges and policy objectives. It should also underline the importance of EU forests as a resource for achieving the EU 2020 targets and for enhancing the viability and quality of life in rural areas. A new common strategy for EU-level co-operation on sustainable forest management will help to strengthen not only our internal co-ordination of forest-related policies but also our voice in the international context.

Forest package

It is clear from the discussions that there is a broad agreement in favour of a holistic forest strategy covering the value chain and creating synergies with developments in other policy areas. In that sense, the Forest Strategy could act as an umbrella, a vehicle for coordination and proactive development of new policies in forestry and related fields. Several Commission services are currently discussing the possibility of jointly presenting several different initiatives that could be organised under the aegis of the strategy, as part of a ”forest package”.

The Commission’s work on the New EU Forest Strategy, addressed to Council and Parliament, is scheduled for the first quarter of 2013. Council and Parliament will then decide on how they should follow this up.

For further reading, please find SIFI newsletter no 7 here.

Text: Markus Holzer, Head of Unit, Bioenergy, Biomass, Forestry and Climatic Changes, DG AGRI