Setting up the Initiative

H2020 and Bioeconomy (HU, EC)


Policy guidelines for agricultural research (HU)


Policy guidelines for agricultural research (HU)


Common Strategic Research Area (HU, PL, LT)


Robert-Jan Smits with the Hungarian Ambassador


Jerzy Bogdan Plewa with the Hungarian Ambassador


on bioeconomy (V4 + EC)




Policy guidelines for agricultural research (HU)


BIOEAST-CEE Cooperation of research institutes (HU, CZ, SK, PL, RO)




signed by V4+3


(SK, PL, HU, CZ, EC)


for stronger inclusion of EU13 within Horizon 2020 (Meeting of ministers of V4+3)


Official presentation of Common Declaration


Common Declaration AOB point



Common Declaration and BIOEAST Initiative presented


presentation of Common Declaration



BIOEASTcommon research topics (HU, PL, CZ, SK, BG, RO, SI)


for CEE countries (international)




BIOEAST (international)


V4+ Agri Ministers meeting


on setting up a RIA for H2020


Adopted by 11 BIOEAST countries


Bi-monthly with 11 BIOEAST countries’ Board members

2/2018 onwards

Hungarian national SCAR CASA


V4+ Agri Ministers meeting (11 countries)




proposal submission


EC-SCAR-BIOEAST Policy Support Facilitation (H2020)


Bioeconomy Strategy discussed



BIOEAST as driving force of the European Green Deal


on Bioeconomy and Green Investment (BIOEAST Board)



Signed by 11 ministers of the 5th anniversary of BIOEAST Initiative


BIOEAST Foresight presented


1st Joint Thematic Working Group meeting


session for bioeconomization of regions (BIOEAST)


BIOEAST ministers + Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia emphasized the need for partnership


11 national concept paper and BIOEAST SRIA presented


Concept note on Regional Innovation Valleys for Food System & Bioeconomy



Thematic Working Group and national HUB coordinators’ meetings


BIOEAST countries are committed to working together and to contributing to the further development of the ERA by organising joint programming exercises. A long-term process was initiated in 2015. The macro-regional research and innovation needs of the CEE countries have thus been communicated at the political and expert levels several times. Support from all the EU Member States and the European Commission is now crucial to maintaining the commitment of the supporting countries and organisations. Among the numerous CEE actions are the following milestones:

  • The EU Bioeconomy Strategy “How to develop the Hungarian Research and Innovation Agenda” conference held during the National Agriculture and Food Exhibition (OMÉK in Hungarian) in Budapest. This was jointly organised by the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture and the Research Institute of Agricultural Economics and took place on 25 September 2015;
  • AGRIFISH Council – policy discussion concerning the EU strategy in the field of agricultural research and innovation, presenting the position for more effective use of the research potential of the EU-13 in the field of agriculture within Horizon 2020. Event was held on 15 February 2016;
  • Presentation and repetition position during SCAR works and H2020 Programme Committee since the end of 2015;
  • Active participation in the consultation process on long-term EU strategy in the field of research and innovation in agriculture – consultation conducted by the European Commission from December 2015 to January 2016;
  • Priority of the Polish Presidency of the Visegrad Group (2016-2017): More effective use of the research potential of the V4 countries in the field of agriculture within Horizon 2020;
  • Policy Guidelines for Agricultural Research workshops (I, II, III) organised jointly by the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture, the Research Institute of Agricultural Economics and the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture on 10 November 2015, 14 January 2016, 27 and 31 May 2016, and 3 June 2016 in Budapest, Pápa, Kecskemét and Debrecen, Hungary (with Hungarian participants – researchers, farmers, advisors and other stakeholders);
  • Robert-Jan Smits meeting with the Hungarian Ambassador on 15 February 2016 and Jerzy Bogdan Plewa meeting with the Hungarian Ambassador on 16 February 2016;
  • Workshop on the bioeconomy on 18 April 2016 in Bratislava;
  • ENVI Council on 12 May 2016 in Lednice: BIOEAST (SK, PL, HU, CZ, RO, BG);
  • BIOEAST – CEE Cooperation between research institutes organised by the Research Institute of Agricultural Economics, Hungary on 8 June 2016 in Budapest;
  • Budapest Innovation Week (comprising the Annual Conference of the European Rural Development Network, a meeting of the SCAR Strategic Working Group on Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS), and a workshop in the frame of the DANUBIONET project), organised in Budapest by the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture, the Research Institute of Agricultural Economics and the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture from 3 to 7 October 2016;
  • Lodz Declaration signed by V4+3 on 6 October 2016;
  • Bratislava Bioeconomy Conference organised by the Slovak Presidency together with European Commission under the auspices of SCAR held on 17 October 2016;
  • Common efforts under the Polish Presidency of the Visegrad Group – Meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture of the V4+3, adoption of the Visegrad4+3 Common Declaration for the stronger inclusion of the research potential of the EU-13 Member States in the implementation of projects within Horizon 2020 in the field of agriculture and the bioeconomy, with common proposals of topics – part of the Visegrad4+3 Common Declaration signed on 26 October 2016 in Warsaw;
  • AGRIFISH Council held on 15 November 2016 – official presentation of the Visegrad4+3 Common Declaration broadly supported by the Member States and the European Commission prior to the Council meeting, a letter addressing the European Commissioners (Moedas and Hogan);
  • COMPET Council on 29 November 2016; Common Declaration was presented under AOB;
  • The BIOEAST initiative was presented to and welcomed by Visegrad4 Agriculture Chambers on 1-2 December 2016 in Balatonfüred, Hungary;
  • SCAR Plenary meeting including ’Bioeconomy developments’ in Brussels on 6 December 2016, where the Visegrad4+3 Common Declaration and the BIOEAST Initiative were presented;
  • SC2 Programme Committee meeting – Presentation of the Visegrad4+3 Common Declaration on 18 January 2017;
  • The BIOEAST initiative was presented and discussed at COPA-COGECA Working Party on Research in Brussels on 15 February 2017;
  • BIOEAST workshop organized by the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture in cooperation with the Research Institute of Agricultural Economics and the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture on 21-22 February 2017, in Budapest. The aim was to deepen cooperation in the field of agricultural research in the bioeconomy. During the workshop some common research topics were further developed by research experts representing these countries;
  • BIOEAST Board meeting on 20 September 2017 in Budapest;
  • Common Declaration / V4+ Agri Ministers meeting on 21 September 2017 Budapest aiming to set a Vision for the BIOEAST initiative in the context of sustainable bioeconomy;
  • BIOEAST Vision Paper adopted by 11 BIOEAST countries in February 2018. The Vision 2030 supported by 11 countries’ ministries and European Commission highlight opportunities in three strategic areas: the sustainable increase of biomass production, the need for circular (“zero waste”) processing of available biomass, support the viability of rural areas;
  • Hungarian national SCAR Conference organized on 25 April 2018 in Budapest to raise awareness of the role of SCAR at national and EU level;
  • Common Declaration of V4+ Agri Ministers meeting (11 countries) on 13 June 2018 in Bábolna, Hungary in line with the adopted BIOEAST VISION 2030, commit to develop a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda focusing on macro-regional priority areas and call for better inclusion of the BIOEAST into Horizon Europe;
  • The Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture organised a high-level conference in Budapest, which took place during the Science Festival “Science Festival: Science without borders” in Budapest on 8 November 2018. The conference was a cornerstone in the evolution of the BIOEAST Initiative, setting the bioeconomy research and innovation agenda for Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe;  
  • Workshop between EC-SCAR-BIOEAST on Bioeconomy Policy Support Facilitation (H2020) on 13 March 2019 in Brussels on identifying policy support tools to help EU countries in their bioeconomy strategy development;
  • BIOEASTsUP CSA project kicks-off in October 2019 in support of the BIOEAST Initiative;
  • The high-level conference, BIOEAST as a driving force in the context of the European Green Deal, took place in Brussels on 20-21 February 2020;
  • The BIOEAST Board issued the position paper on Bioeconomy and Green Investments in June 2020, reaffirming its commitment to assist the elaboration of knowledge-based bioeconomy solutions for Central and Eastern Europe;
  • BIOEAST Foresight Report presented to the public on 27 September 2021 (online); The Foresight Exercise is being conducted to support the member states in developing their sustainable bioeconomy policies. The task was to build on the ongoing European and global reports, to deliver new insight about possible changes of importance for the development of the macro regional bioeconomies;
  • 11 agricultural ministers signed the declaration on 15 November 2021 in Brussels honoring the fifth anniversary of BIOEAST Initiative;
  • 1st Annual BIOEAST Bioeconomy Conference organized on 12-13 May 2022 in Ljubljana which was also the 1st Joint BIOEAST Thematic Working Group meeting;
  • The BIOEAST Initiative organized a session on Bioeconomization of regions during the European Bioeconomy Conference on 6 October 2022. The session explored the opportunities that regional development and cohesion policy bring to develop a sustainable and circular bioeconomy, with a special focus given to the BIOEAST region. There is a need for stronger synergies between regional programmes and the bioeconomy, to introduce strategic and targeted thinking at a regional level;
  • High-level ministerial meeting of BIOEAST and Eastern partnership countries agricultural ministers on 12-15 October 2022 in Tartu, Estonia. The ministers of BIOEAST countries, and Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia emphasized the need to develop long lasting partnership. Estonia launched the national bioeconomy roadmap;
  • The BIOEASTsUP project had its final closing event, the BIOEAST Congress on 15-16 March 2023, in Warsaw, Poland. 11 national bioeconomy concept papers and the BIOEAST Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda were presented to the public;
  • High-level event was organized in Bulgaria jointly by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and the Agricultural University of Plovdiv, in close cooperation with the BIOEAST Initiative on 13 October 2023. Concept note on Regional Innovation Valleys for Food System & Bioeconomy to Boost Regional Bioeconomies was launched;
  • Kick-off meeting of BOOST4BIOEAST project and Annual BIOEAST Bioeconomy Conference on promoting the development of national bioeconomy HUBs were organized on 5-7 March 2024.


The enlarged meetings of the Visegrad Group Countries’ Agriculture Ministers including other Eastern European countries will provide the political discussion platform for the Initiative. See the Presidency of Visegrad Group Countries below:


The programme of the Czech Presidency with its motto “V4 Citizens” is structured into three pillars:

  • Pillar 1 “Safe and advanced society” will promote human-centered policies, particularly people-to-people and civil society contacts in areas of culture, education, science and research or sports.
  • Pillar 2 “Innovative and interconnected economy” will involve specific sectoral projects and initiatives bringing practical benefits for the citizens of the V4 countries.
  • Pillar 3 “Support to Ukraine” will respond to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and its impacts on the country, neighboring Moldova and the wider region.

In the context of the BIOEAST Initiative, the Czech Presidency will further enforce the cooperation among the 11 Central and Eastern European member countries and establish strong relation with Eastern Partnership and Western Balkan countries.


Poland takes over the annual Presidency of the Visegrad Group (V4) on July 1 st , 2020. The Presidency coincides with an unprecedented crisis in the world caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has put the functioning of societies to a severe test. The response – medical, social and economic – of Europe and the world to this pandemic will have a major impact on the development of individual countries, regions, the EU and the whole world. The pandemic and the process of overcoming its consequences will also have a significant impact on the course of the Polish presidency in the V4, in many areas and aspects. V4 countries will have to actively cooperate in tackling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and work together to bring socio-economic life in the region and the EU back on track. Building the image of the Central European region and V4 as a flexible and constructive partner remains an ongoing task. Dialogue is essential in these difficult times. Gestures of solidarity and goodwill also count. The Polish V4 Presidency coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Visegrad cooperation (February 1991). The high-level meeting in Hungarian city of Visegrad three decades ago was of great importance for Central Europe. Speaking about the important anniversaries for V4, it should be pointed out that still in the first half of the Polish presidency we will have the opportunity to continue the celebration of the 20th anniversary (June 2000) of the International Visegrad Fund (IVF). These two important anniversaries and related events define the year of the Polish presidency of V4. Building on the work and achievements of the Czech V4 presidency, we will focus on the problems of the region and EU issues concerning our region. The V4 Presidency also offers an opportunity to implement projects (both symbolic and practical) to highlight the importance of V4 cooperation for its members and achieve practical progress. The motto of V4 cooperation during the Presidency will be “Back on track”.

The full version is available to download here.


For the Visegrad Presidency, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic has identified as key to addressing the future form of the CAP and the dual quality of food. Given the challenges of climate change and bark beetle calamity, it is also a priority to focus on discussions on EU forest policy, along with the possibility of using bioeconomy, agroforestry and other approaches. The Ministry also considers water and soil management as an equally important topic to be addressed in the coming period.
The Czech Presidency will follow up on the Slovak Presidency programme. It will advocate a rational, pragmatic and constructive approach to the challenges and problems, which our countries and the whole Europe are facing. It will support efforts contributing to the stability of our continent, including EU enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policy.
The Czech Presidency’s overall aim is to strengthen the Visegrad Group’s position in the EU and NATO while fostering unity and cohesion of the two organisations. The Visegrad Group should thus contribute to the building of a strong, effective, competitive and secure Europe based on the values of democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights and freedoms, as well as on the principles of subsidiarity, proportionality and sustainability.

Priority areas of interest to the Czech Presidency

Reasonable solutions
This area includes in particular the main crosscutting topics: deepening of the Single Market and preservation of its four freedoms, support of the EU’s enlargement to the Western Balkans, promotion of the EU Eastern Neighbourhood Policy, cooperation in the area of security and defence and encouragement of people-to-people contacts and civil societies in V4 countries and their wider neighbourhood.

Revolutionary technologies – innovative economy and its social impacts
In this priority area the Czech Presidency will concentrate on support for research, development and innovation (especially innovative business and so-called smart investments) and on access to sources of financing (especially exchange of experiences of V4 countries and partner countries with regard to the use of EU funding for science, research and innovation, and preparation for the post-2020 programming period).

The Czech Presidency will support the development of an innovative ecosystem (especially start-ups and scale-ups) and capital markets to increase investment in innovation, knowledge transfer and research-business linkages.

Under this priority area, the Czech Presidency will also facilitate the strengthening of V4 cooperation in the field of space activity.

Furthermore, one of the priorities of the Czech Presidency in this area will be sufficient labour supply and prospects for labour in times of technological change and digital transformation (Work 4.0).

Reconciling approaches
The Czech Presidency will try to deepen political and practical cooperation and coordination of their positions with the goal to contribute to finding the comprehensive solution in the future migration and asylum policies, including their internal as well as external dimensions and to focus on strengthening of the EU external border protection in order to ensure security of EU citizens and proper functioning of the Schengen area.
The Czech Presidency will also attempt to continue regional cooperation on infrastructure connections including intended for alternative fuels in transport and energy policy, especially nuclear energy.

The full version is available to download here.


The Slovak Republic is holding its fifth presidency of the Visegrad group (V4) from July 2018 until June 2019.
For a quarter of a century of its existence, Visegrad cooperation has moved from coordination of countries’ integration processes to the promotion of common positions at the European level. With this in mind, SK V4 PRES will focus its efforts in the area of bioeconomy on progressing with the BIOEAST Initiative and its main aim will be to develop the first Initiative´s Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA). Within the SRIA it will be our key-priority to identify the main strategic areas common for our countries, which should be further explored and developed, e.g. in the field of agro-ecology and sustainable yields, forest based value, fresh water and aquaculture based value chains and others.  

Under the SK V4 PRES, the BIOEAST countries will intensify their cooperation, establish and support the work of expert groups and „knowledge hub“ of BIOEAST in order to improve strategic thinking in bioeconomy with the aim to support the long-term partnership and framework conditions for fulfilling the BIOEAST Vision – develop knowledge and cooperation based cicular bioeconomies, which help to enhance inclusive growth and to create new value-added jobs especially in rural areas, whilst maintaining or even strengthening environmental sustainability.

Increased attention will also be paid to the preparation and finalization of the Initiative´s governance.

For detailed program please click HERE.


The BIOEAST Initiative with the help of the EUROPEAN COMMISSION will develop:

  • A Vision Paper
  • A Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda
    The Vision Paper will identify the key challenges to address and will frame the objectives and goals of the initiative with a broad action plan. The Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) will be a tool for addressing the challenges. The SRIA will detail the scope, level and duration of specific joint actions to be taken in order to achieve a particular goal falling within a key challenge. It will be designed to be a living document offering a handbook for interested implementing bodies, bearing in mind that the BIOEAST initiative:
  • allows for different types of action to be taken at different levels, as regards geographical coverage, critical mass, joint funding, coordination of national/regional efforts or the use of EU instruments;
  • is designed to involve relevant players and stakeholders such as national ministries, regional authorities, international organisations, organisations that undertake research, research infrastructure, academia, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations and the general public.
    Please check The Hungarian Presidency https://bioeast.eu/download/Hungarian-presidency/ endorsed by the Central and Eastern European countries.


Under the Polish Presidency of the Visegrad Group the common declaration of the ministers of agriculture of Visegrad Group and Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia was signed during the meeting on 25-26 October 2016 in Warsaw for the stronger inclusion of the research potential of the Central and Eastern European (EU-13) countries into the implementation of projects within the Horizon 2020 in the field of agriculture, including the bioeconomy. The Common Declaration was an important political step and gave the necessary mandate to start the BIOEAST initiative. Please find the document below for more details https://bioeast.eu/download/polish-presidency/

Governance will be within the History without submenus by Presidency. I suppose that we continuously introduce the Presidencies