The European bioeconomy seeks a compass. Yesterday ended the Bioeconomy Investment Summit organised by the European Commission in Brussels, which has had starring the main players of the bioeconomy made in Europe. The event, which had as its clever director John Bell – director of Bioeconomy Directorate – leaves many open questions, but mainly provides the framework of a Europe divided between countries, between sectors, between large and small companies, including those who require a system of public procurement as the Biopreferred Programme in the US (with standards and labels) and those who say it is up to the market, those who say the bioeconomy is integral part of circular economy and those who say that it is better to run on two parallel planes. In short, adelante con juicio.
There are many positive points, however, to take home: sharing once again that we are on a road of no return and that we must do everything possible to make the Old Continent an attractive area for investments (also through predictability of regulations and support to de-risk investments) and to favor the change of mindset required by the bioeconomy. And again, the support, demonstrated by their presence, of the two European Commissioners Phil Hogan (Agriculture and Rural development) and Carlos Moedas (Research, Science and Innovation), who opened the Summit saying “We need the bioeconomy to go from being a niche to the norm”. The summit itself is very positive.
As noted by Bell, we are not on the ground floor of the bioeconomy building, but we have the impression that the height of the building that the Union will be able to build is once again directly proportional to the will of Member States to reach a political Union. It’s time for new policies. It’s time for a Politics with the capital P. We want Europe to lead not to follow in the bioeconomy.