News

EEAC Network policy debate: The way forward to a sustainable European food system

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 

 

Internal exchange among advisory councils

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.

EEAC Network welcomes newly elected board

The EEAC Network has elected a new board. During the EEAC’s Annual Plenary Session (APS), member councils elected four new board members, and renewed the mandate of the current Chair. Arnau Queralt Bassa (CADS) will stay on as Chair. Katalin Sipos (NFFT) and Jan Verheeke (Minaraad) will assume the role of vice-chairs. Julia Hertin (SRU) and Folmer de Haan (Rli) make up the rest of the board. The newly elected board started its duties on 1 January 2023. Read More

Internal policy briefing: Process & Outcomes: CBD COP15

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

New publication: National SDG Advisory Bodies calling to action

SDG advisory bodies from more than 20 countries gathered in Cape Town, South Africa, in the context of the Global Forum Network Meeting 2022. The Global Forum is a network of multi-stakeholder bodies that accelerates SDG delivery through sharing experiences and jointly visioning forward across national perspectives. The EEAC Network is an active member of the Forum.

During this Network Meeting a joint call to action was discussed. Following the meeting the German Advisory Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) drafted a meeting report, and finalized the call to action. In the call to action representatives of advisory bodies that are part of the Global Forum, called for all governments and national stakeholder groups to support the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’s proposals in “Our Common Agenda”. They also called on all respective national governments and other stakeholders to take bold action, by taking concrete steps at both national and local level and bridging them with international tools and mechanisms. Read More

Chair and two experts of EEAC Network met with European Commission’s EVP Timmermans to discuss sustainable food systems

The Hague, 1 December 2022

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

 

An EEAC Network Position Paper: EU Framework law should ensure a sustainable food system and redirect innovation

The European food system does not deliver sustainable diets, with low environmental impacts which contribute to food and nutrition security and to a healthy life for present and future generations. To make the system more resilient, an EU Framework Law on Sustainable Food Systems should foster human and planetary health in a coherent and balanced approach between an agricultural supply policy, environmental policy and food (consumption) policy. A policy on a sustainable food system should direct the strong innovation capacity of actors away from ever lower food prices towards more sustainable farming, food processing and food consumption. However, a just transition is key:  to the extent that healthy diets are not affordable for consumers compensation should be given by changes in minimum wages, social security or income taxes. This advice is given by  a consortium of national advisory councils on environment and sustainable development, in an EEAC Network Position Paper on the framework law. Read More

Third EEAC/ESDN EU Presidency Exchange

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.

New publication: Opinion on biodiversity policy

The Federal Council for Sustainable Development in Belgium (FRDO-CFDD) together with Brussels Region Environment Council (RLBHG) published an own initiative opinion on biodiversity policy. The opinion was prepared by the “Biodiversity and Forests” and “International Relations” working groups and was approved by the FRDO-CFDD General Assembly by written procedure. The original language of this opinion is Dutch, the translation in English became available in November 2022. Read More

The CBD COP15: The need for integration & a realistic, fair and result-driven approach

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