The EEAC Network and the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the EU organized a policy debate on the way forward to a sustainable European food system. Over 65 invited guest joined the session in Brussels on February 2nd 2023.
European society and its food system are facing a triple challenge, guaranteeing a healthy diet for all, mitigating and adapting to climate change, as well as protecting and restoring habitats for their biodiversity and ecosystems services. This triple challenge requires a systems approach. The Legislative Framework for sustainable food systems, which the European Commission has announced in the Farm to Fork strategy and is expected to adopt by the end of 2023, could provide a strong basis for the system approach. The ambition as well as the challenges to achieve a sustainable food system in the EU are vast and raise questions. How should the Legislative Framework best foster human and planetary health in a coherent and balanced approach between an agricultural supply policy, environmental policy and food (consumption) policy? And will the Legislative Framework direct the strong innovation capacity of actors away from ever lower food prices towards more sustainable farming, food processing and food consumption? Or how can a just transition be ensured?
The debate facilitated a a constructive and open exchange of views about the opportunities and challenges of transforming the European food system and the role that the EU legislative framework for sustainable food systems could play in this transformation. The Exchange was timely given that the European Commission is in the midst of preparing the EU legislative framework on a sustainable food system in the EU. It furthermore built upon the recently issued EEAC position paper on a sustainable food system in the EU. Read More
Although compositions, focus areas, and working methods among advisory councils that are member of the EEAC Network differ, the vast majority of councils faces challenges or has valuable lessons to share regarding matters such as collecting evidence, interacting with experts, policymakers and the general public, communication, ways of collaborating online, or regarding the structuring of council debates. In order to stimulate mutual exchange on ways of working and good practices that can contribute to improve the work and impact of EEAC member councils a series of online exchange session is scheduled to take place throughout 2023. A group of eleven advisory councils met online to exchange experiences and best practices with regard to the way in which advisory work is presented to policy makers and the wider audience. A next meeting in this series is scheduled to take place in March 2023.
Following the CBD COP15, SRU Council member Prof. Dr. Josef Settele gave a presentation on the process and outcomes of the Conference. Representatives of ten advisory councils from across the EU joined the internal EEAC session that took place on Thursday December 22nd 2022.
In prelude to CBD COP15, The EEAC Working Group on Ecosystem Services produced observations, insights and recommendations on the draft post 2020 Framework for Biodiversity. Read More
The Chair of the EEAC Network together with two experts met today with European Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans to discuss the need to make food systems in Europe more sustainable.
During the exchange, the findings and recommendations of the EEAC Position Paper ‘Towards a sustainable food system’ were discussed, and the position paper was presented to the Commissioner.
A consortium of advisory councils and their members worked together during the recent past to formulate the position paper, which aims to feed the debate on sustainable food systems and contribute to the creation of a legislative framework for a sustainable food system at EU level.
Read the EEAC Position Paper ‘Towards a sustainable food system a position paper on the framework law’ here
The EEAC Network, together with the colleagues of ESDN, has established recurring exchange cycles with delegates from the Council Working Party on the 2030 Agenda and delegates from the European Commission. These exchanges aim to support inter-collegial exchange on Europe’s sustainability challenges. During the latest exchange in Brussels on November 18th, Delegates from the different organizations discussed the Voluntary Review that the EU will provide to next year’s United Nations High-Level Political Forum, the work of the Council Working Party on the 2030 Agenda and the upcoming global SDG Summit.
Today ( 18 October 2022) the Chairman of the EEAC Working Group on Ecosystem Services published a summary of the observations, insights and recommendations that were discussed in the context of the upcoming CBD COP15 by experts that are part of advisory councils on the environment and sustainable development. The experts from seven different advisory councils met online twice and shared their insights during several written rounds.
As a starting point, the experts took note of the state of negotiations on the text of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. They focused their exchange on the content of some crucial targets in the negotiation text and on the relationship between those targets.
The experts make a plea to better integrate biodiversity in 1) all spaces, and 2) within all domains. Both tasks must be properly anchored in the system of targets of the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, so as to have a ‘spinal role’ for the other targets in the text. Experts further underline that the European Union should opt for a realistic, fair and results-driven approach in the run up to and during CBD COP15 itself. In this process, the EU’s active and ambitious stance in the negotiation process needs to be reinforced, by also explicitly reflecting critically on the actions of the EU and its Member States in the context of biodiversity, they argue. Read More
The EEACNetwork, together with the Belgian Federal Council for Sustainable Development (FRDO-CFDD), the German Advisory Council for Sustainable Development (RNE), and the Department of Sustainable Development from Romania organised a joint webinar “Implementing the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive: Opportunities and Challenges”. The webinar took place on October 13th.
The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive
A provisional political agreement on the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) has been reached at EU level. By implementing the CSRD, the EU intends to make ambitious but standardised and accessible sustainability reporting mandatory for more than 50,000 companies across EU Member States. After the official adoption of the CSRD at EU level (end of 2022), EU Member States will have eighteen months to integrate the CSRD into national law. The way in which Member States implement the Directive is expected to influence the extent to which the objectives of this European proposal are actually achieved.
During the webinar a panel of high level experts addressed the following issues: 1) Which aspects need to be taken into account to ensure that the ambitious goals of the CSRD can actually be achieved? 2) What leeway do the Member States have in the implementation process, and how big a risk is this? And 3) How can we learn from the implementation of the CSRD’s predecessor, the Non-Financial Reporting Directive?
The webinar provided guidance and recommendations for action in the final phase of the implementation of the CSRD, so that the transformative potential of the new Directive can be fully achieved.
We were pleased to have contributions from a variety of international policy makers, including: Tom Dodd, European Commission, DG FISMA, Karen Hofmans, the Federal Public Service Economy (Belgium), Jan Witzmann, the Federal Ministry of Justice (Germany), and László Borbély, State Councilor, the Romanian Prime Minister’s Office – Department of Sustainable Development (Romania).
A new network of over 72 organizations from 12 countries was activated during a convening in Amsterdam on September 26-27, 2022. Representatives are aligned around the transdisciplinary field and social movement of Planetary Health, which analyzes and addresses the impacts of human disruptions to natural systems on human health and all life on Earth. The Planetary Health European Hub consists of organizations from sectors including universities, healthcare, youth, business, civil society, and more.
Co-organized by the Planetary Health Alliance (PHA) and the EEAC Network, the new hub was conceived to focus on the policy, funding, and organizational landscapes that make Europe rich in opportunities for building transformational change.
“From the European Green Deal, the Health Environment Research Agenda for Europe, to the upcoming Horizon Health 2023 Agenda, now is the time to connect the dots, build collaborations, make links within the policy community, and fund Planetary Health priorities at scale,” said Sam Myers, Director of the Planetary Health Alliance and Principle Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Members of the European Hub, came together in person and online and agreed on the Hub’s principles, developed working groups to tend to plans in research, education, policy, and movement building, shared lessons learned, built relationships, and set the framework for sustaining the Hub into the future. Read More
A group of representatives from various advisory councils met for the second time to discuss the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Council representatives took stock of the ongoing negotiations and discussed the need for integration of biodiversity policies in all spaces and domains, as well as the need for a realistic, just and result driven approach by the EU and its Member States ahead of the CBD. Insights and views shared by council representatives are to be used as input for an EEAC document that will be sent in the context of the finalization of the CDB COP15 negotiations in Montreal in December 2022.
This year, the EEAC Annual Conference entitled: ‘The Critical Decade of Action: Mobilising Sustainability Transformation in Europe’ took place in Helsinki on September 14th and 15th 2022.
The conference was hosted by Finland’s three independent science panels, the Finnish Expert Panel for Sustainable Development, the Finnish Climate Change Panel and the Finnish Nature Panel.
The two-day conference brought together experts from academia, civil society, the private sector and government to discuss the next steps for facilitating the much-needed transformation in the critical decade of action. We heared interesting keynote speeches and engaged in workshops and parallel sessions, including on the following themes:
Joining forces for sustainability transformation
Europe’s global responsibility in combating climate change
Mid-term policy actions needed against the biodiversity crisis