BHAK Wien 10 at the Bioeconomy Strategy Conference (Brussels, Belgium)
Sustainable & Circular Bioeconomy, the European Way
In October 2018, the European Commission has launched the new and updated EU strategy – A sustainable bioeconomy for Europe: strengthening the connection between economy, society and the environment. The strategy includes five objectives and three main action areas leading the way towards a circular bioeconomy.
The bio-economy strategy identifies the following five objectives:
- Ensuring food security,
- Managing natural resources sustainably,
- Reducing dependence on non-renewable resources,
- Mitigating and adapting to climate change
- Creating jobs and maintaining EU competitiveness.
The three areas of action are:
- Investments in research, innovation and skills,
- Reinforced policy interaction and stakeholder engagement,
- Enhancement of markets and competitiveness in bioeconomy.
On October 22, 2018, the conference on “Sustainable and Circular Bioeconomy, the European way”, organised by the European Commission in cooperation with the Federal Ministry, Republic of Austria, Sustainability and Tourism, took place in Brussels, Belgium.
The topics discussed in the conference were divided into four sessions such as “Ensuring environmental, social and economic balance of the bioeconomy”, “Key strategic research priorities”, “Local development” and “Investment, markets and the bio-based sector”.
A group of 15 students (5AK, 5BK, 5AD) from BHAK & BHAS Wien 10, who actively worked together with Dr. Nikolinka FERTALA – coordinator of the BLOOM project in Austria – on bioeconomy topics, was invited by the European Schoolnet to attend the above-stated conference in Brussels. The students were expected to prepare various questions dealing with the five objectives mentioned above. Interestingly, the students formulated working in groups of three-to-four persons the following seven questions:
- How can the EU support young generations to develop bioeconomy?
- What specific skills do employees need to work in the area of bioeconomy?
- How can you ensure the use of biodegradable goods worldwide in connection to Asia and the U.S.?
- How will the EU encourage the economically weaker EU members to implement the bio-based economy strategy?
- Why doesn‘t the EU simply ban non-degradable plastic bags, even though there are alternatives like biodegradable plastic bags?
- How can the EU make sure that each member gets the same chances & possibilities to implement bioeconomy strategies & reach their five objectives?
- What is the most efficient way to make the citizens of the EU aware of bioeconomy and boost this matter?
The BHAK and BHAS Wien10 students had the opportunity to ask the in-advanced-prepared questions to the panel of Key Strategic Research Priorities. Anna LIU – student from 5BK – started with her questions. She wanted to know: How can the EU make sure that each member gets the same chances to implement bioeconomy strategies and reach their five objectives? What is the most efficient way to make EU citizens aware of bioeconomy? The answers provided by the speakers were rather short and insufficient. Due to time limitations, the remaining questions were left to the lunch break. During the lunch, the student and Dr. Fertala were given an invitation for the kick-off event on bioeconomy in Vienna, organised by the Federal Ministry, Republic of Austria, Sustainability and Tourism.
Finally, the attendance of the Bioeconomy Strategy Brussels Conference increased the awareness of the involved students towards bioeconomy and showed them the potentials of the land and sea based biomass in order to strengthen the EU sustainability.