Seed World

European Commission President von der Leyen Launches Strategic Dialogue on Agriculture

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’ on Jan. 25. 

The proposal, initially introduced in the State of the Union address last summer, seeks to connect various stakeholders in the agri-food sector, and it is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping Europe’s agricultural policies and practices. It is set to play a crucial role in influencing agricultural policies and practices in Europe. Euroseeds applauds the initiation of this effort, 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. 

“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.”

Speaking at the launch event, von der Leyen emphasized the importance of inclusive participation, advocating for the involvement of representatives from diverse sectors such as farmers, farm workers, rural communities, industries, consumers, environmental groups, the financial sector, and academia.

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.

Under the leadership of Professor Strohschneider, former President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and newly elected Chairman of the dialogue, the initiative is anticipated to produce insights and recommendations that will shape the future of European agriculture. President Strohschneider emphasized the pivotal role of agriculture in European society, commending the sector’s resilience in confronting recent challenges such as 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. 

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, including the New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) and the Plant Reproductive Material (PRM).

The initiation of the dialogue holds strategic significance for discussions closely related to the European seed and plant breeding sector. These include the assessment of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the execution 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).