27 January 2024, EU: President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has today launched the Strategic Dialogue on the Future of Agriculture, a new forum mandated to shape a shared vision for the future of the EU’s farming and food system.
The Strategic Dialogue, announced by the President in her 2023 State of the Union address, will address challenges and opportunities raised by the participants to the Dialogue, such as a fair standard of living for farmers and rural communities, supporting agriculture within the boundaries of our planet and its ecosystems, exploiting the huge opportunities offered by knowledge and technological innovation, and promoting a thriving future for the EU’s food system in a competitive world.
Professor Peter Strohschneider has been appointed as chair, based on his longstanding experience, notably as chair of the Federal government of Germany’s “Commission for the Future of Agriculture”.
The Strategic Dialogue brings together key stakeholders from across the whole agri-food chain, including farmers, co-operatives, agri-food businesses, and rural communities; as well as non-governmental organisations and civil society representatives, financial institutions and academia. A series of thematic meetings will be organised after the launch meeting, taking place in the first half of 2024.
The Council and European Parliament will be involved in the process and the Chair, Professor Strohschneider, will regularly inform and exchange views with both institutions on the Dialogue.
By combining different perspectives, the Dialogue aims to foster the creation of new solutions and to bring about a common vision for the future of the EU agriculture and food sector by summer 2024. The chair, working in collaboration with the Dialogue participants, will define the precise format of the conclusions.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “The time is ripe to forge a new consensus on food and farming among farmers, rural communities and all other actors on the EU agri-food chain. EU farmers and food industry provide our citizens with healthy and high-quality food, and make a central contribution to our economy, particularly in rural areas. They are also making a tremendous effort to contribute to our collective green and digital transitions. But at the same time they are confronted with a wide range of challenges, ranging from climate change, to inflation, to volatile market impacts. With this Strategic Dialogue, we are creating a forum to deliver a clear vision for the future, to the benefit of all.”
In her 2023 speech on the State of the European Union, President von der Leyen announced that the European Commission would launch a Strategic Dialogue on the Future of Agriculture in the EU.
In her opening speech of the EU Agri-Food Days the President added that the Dialogue would be formally launched in January 2024, aiming to address pertinent issues such as:
– How can we give our farmers, and the rural communities they live in, a better perspective, including a fair standard of living?
– How can we support agriculture within the boundaries of our planet and its ecosystem?
– How can we make better use of the immense opportunities offered by knowledge and technological innovation?
– How can we promote a bright and thriving future for Europe’s food system in a competitive world?
The Strategic Dialogue aims to cover all policies around agriculture and food production to strengthen our understanding of current and expected challenges. The Dialogue will be an opportunity to hear the perspectives, ambitions, concerns and solutions of farmers and other key stakeholders from across the agri-food chain. This will allow for a focused and targeted discussion to find a common ground for the future of the Union’s agri-food sector.
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