EU forest strategy expanding to entire forest-based sector

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The continued right of Member States to decide on how their forests are utilised must be safeguarded when the strategy is revised.

A working group reporting to the Commission’s Standing Forestry Committee has finished drafting its proposal regarding the forest strategy. The revision of the strategy forms part of a more extensive EU set of forest-related measures (the so-called forest package), which is planned to incorporate, among other things, aspects of the Commission Communication on improving the competitiveness of the forest industry.

The forest strategy must improve conditions for the bioeconomy

Many separate EU policies affect the forest-based sector and forest utilisation. The existing forest strategy applies only to forestry and is much too narrow, as the expectations focused on forests and the forest-based sector have grown while decision-making has become increasingly complicated. Expanding the forest strategy to apply across the entire forest-based sector will improve coordination of forest-related questions globally as well as within the EU in particular.        

The new forest strategy must, for its part, support the implementation of the EU’s bioeconomy strategy and improve the competitiveness of the entire forest-based sector by promoting the market position of environment- and climate-friendly products that are made out of wood.

The Commission will begin preparing the forest strategy over the coming autumn, and the goal is to finish this work by spring 2013. In order to make future coordination of forest-related matters more effective in the EU, the different components of the overall set of forest-related measures (forest package) must be made mutually supportive and aligned purposefully. A more detailed forest action plan will be drafted for the implementation of the forest strategy.

Further information:
Karoliina Niemi, Senior Adviser (Forestry), Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 6679, +358 50 5679093