There is a strong commitment in the Visegrad Group to keep high in their political agenda the BIOEAST Initiative. A high-level diplomat post will be created in Brussels to liaise between the member states and EU institutions.

Institutional set-up of BIOEAST

After two years of enthusiastic actions it was evident that, to be able to operate effectively via a truly multi-stakeholder approach and at the macro-regional level, a more formal cooperation mechanism (contributing to the first objective) was needed.

Despite the common aims of the CEE countries, the actions carried out so far have been fragmented and uncoordinated, and thus less efficient than they might have been. Several actions were launched and different organisations were working in parallel until the Visegrad4+3 Common Declaration created a political base to act uniformly and represent the various interests imperiously both within and outside the borders. The Visegrad4+3 Common Declaration contains our goals and the BIOEAST Initiative is considered to be the necessary tool capable of formalising the operation and facilitating the achievement of those goals. During the strategic planning meeting held on 21 February 2017 was proposed the elaboration of this tool.

BIOEAST full process

The countries of the CEE macro-region are expected to communicate with the European Commission at both the expert and political levels. The former includes representatives of ministries, research institutes, academies of sciences, universities, and chamber organisations involving the industry. The political-level discussions will happen in the Visegrad Four working groups in the constellation of the different ministries, the communication will involve the Programme Committee and SCAR. Both levels will be governed by the Secretary. Barna Kovács (who used to work for the European Commission) is proposed as the Secretary, to give a face to the Initiative and furthermore to communicate with the Visegrad 4 Presidency. The V4 Presidency rotates yearly among the V4 countries. (The Polish Presidency runs from July 2016 to July 2017, and will be followed by the Hungarian Presidency).

V4 and other Central and Eastern European countries' Ministries 

Ministry of Agriculture

The Department of Agriculture is responsible for the operation of the research, development and innovation (R&D&I) area. The Department carries out its activities under the direction of the Deputy Secretary of State for Agricultural Economy.

  • Establishment of strategic cooperation
  • Providing professional support to the formation of EIP-AGRI Operational groups
  • Compilation of white papers
  • Compilation of analyzes
  • Assessment of R&D&I sectoral needs and focus areas
  • Preparation of government and ministerial-level management decisions

The tasks of the Department include the professional supervision of the Ministry’s research institutes and the development and management of the national and international contact systems in the agricultural R&D&I area. Moreover, the task is to identify and analyze strategic focus areas for Hungarian agricultural R&D&I in the context of the bioeconomy. Further aim of the Department is to strengthen transnational scientific and political cooperation in the Central and Eastern European macro-region, in order to increase the macro region’s competitiveness of agriculture in the bioeconomy and to increase the regional and international visibility of the organisations operating in this field.

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic

The Ministry, as a central state administration body, has responsibility for the development and implementation of state policy on agriculture, food, forestry, wood processing, hunting and aquaculture, and performs specific cross-sectional and sectoral functions.

Main task areas related to RDI and the bioeconomy:

  • Sustainable land management;
  • Effective utilisation of biomass from soil, plant, forest and animal production;
  • Added value of agricultural and food production;
  • Waste management and the circular economy.

The Ministry, through its two research institutions – the National Agricultural and Food Centre (NPPC) and the National Forest Centre (NLC) – covers agricultural, food and forestry research, innovation and knowledge transfer. NPPC and NLC are engaged in comprehensive research and gathering of knowledge on the sustainable use and protection of natural resources in the areas of plant and animal production, food production, soil management, grassland and mountain agriculture, agroecology and agro-food economy, and also on research and advisory services oriented towards sustainable forest management and its implementation in practice.

Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic

The Ministry of Agriculture is the central public administrative authority for agriculture, the water sector and the food processing industry, and for forestry, game management, hunting and fishing.

Main task areas related to RDI and the bioeconomy:

  • Sustainable management of natural resources;
  • Sustainable agriculture and forestry;
  • Sustainable food production.

Food security and energy self-sufficiency to increase competitiveness. Significantly improve the protection of natural resources used, taking into account ongoing climate change. The vision of research, development and innovation is ’Promoting innovative agriculture and forestry through advanced methods and technologies’. Three key areas are defined to fulfill this mission: sustainable management of natural resources, sustainable agriculture and forestry, and sustainable food production.

Ministry of...