In a significant step towards addressing the growing divisions in the agricultural landscape, the European Union officially inaugurated the ‘Strategic Dialogue on the Future of Agriculture’ yesterday. The initiative, first proposed during last summer’s State of the Union address, aims to bridge gaps and foster collaboration among diverse stakeholders in the agri-food sector and it is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping Europe’s agricultural policies and practices. Euroseeds welcomes the launch of this initiative, which is reflecting a collective commitment to a resilient, sustainable, and blooming agricultural sector.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, addressed an opening speech for the launch of the dialogue, emphasizing the importance of overcoming polarization through constructive conversation. Speaking at the launch event, von der Leyen highlighted the need for inclusive participation, bringing together representatives from various sectors including farmers, farm workers, rural communities, industries, consumers, environmental groups, financial sector, and academia.
“This diverse group of stakeholders shares a common goal – to ensure the sustainability and vitality of Europe’s agriculture,” remarked von der Leyen. “Through dialogue and collaboration, we aim to develop scenarios for the future, addressing challenges such as food security, sustainability, and competitiveness.”
Stakeholders who convened to the dialogue mainly represent the farming community and agrifood chain such as, COPA COGECA, CEJA and Food&Drink Europe. Represented by its President, Michael Gohn, Euroseeds is among the main stakeholders which were invited to participate to the dialogue.
Led by Professor Strohschneider, Former President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaf and newly elected Chairman of the dialogue, is expected to generate insights and recommendations to guide the future of European agriculture. President Strohschneider underscored the critical role of agriculture in European society, praising the resilience of the sector in facing recent challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, energy crisis, and various geopolitical tensions.
Euroseeds believes the strategic dialogue is particularly important to set discussions for common grounds on the standard of living for farmers, promoting rural development, ensuring sustainable practices, leveraging technology, and enhancing competitiveness in the global market. Moreover, the launch of the dialogue will be of strategic importance for topical discussions which are very close to the European seed and plant breeding sector, such as the review of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the implementation of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), and the discussions on some legislative initiatives such as the New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) and the Plant Reproductive Material (PRM).