The Central and Eastern European countries are strongly committed to keep the BIOEAST Initiative high on their political agenda. Two political declaration were signed by Agriculture Ministers of the enlarged Visegrad Group Countries (BG, CZ, HR, HU, PL, RO, SK, SI) on launching the Initiative. Other Member States (EE, LT) also signalled their interest to participate.
The enlarged meetings of the Visegrad Group Countries’ Agriculture Ministers including other CEE countries will provide the political discussion platform for the Initiative. However, the topics of the BIOEAST initiative could possibly cover broader subjects and several other sectors and ministries. In most of the Member States, due to the lack of national level horizontal approaches to the bioeconomy related sectors, it is difficult to coordinate a common viewpoint.
The positive experience of the SCAR (Standing Committee on Agricultural Research) and Horizon 2020 Programme Committee meetings is a good institutional setup to be considered, where the representatives of different ministries are discussing together.
The proposed way forward is to include in the communication all the ministries and their viewpoints from the outset by providing a contact person/or contact persons for coordinating in each involved ministry. It was decided to nominate one national contact point or number of national contact points due to the division of competences among national ministries (i.e. agriculture, aquaculture, forestry).
The national contact points form the BIOEAST Working Group, through a process of national nomination, become BIOEAST Working Group members.
The BIOEAST General Secretary, who will liaise with the BIOEAST Working Group will coordinate the BIOEAST Initiative. Mr Barna Kovács PhD is appointed as the General Secretary.
The European Commission will be updated formally on the results of these discussions via the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 2 Programme Committee and the Standing Committee for Agricultural Research (SCAR). The Council of the European Union will be updated formally in the frame of the different Council meetings, while the European Parliament will be kept in the loop via the interested Members of the European Parliament.