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News article13 October 2022Joint Research Centre

Bioeconomy strategies in EU regions. Where are we?

Research shows there's a growing number of regional bioeconomy strategies following the launch of the revised EU Bioeconomy strategy in 2018

Panorama view of countryside with biogas plant.
Regional bioeconomy strategies are crucial for improving livelihoods in rural and coastal areas, and for managing natural resources sustainably.
© snapshotfreddy - 2022

Mapping and analysis undertaken for the Commission’s Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy shows there’s a growing number of regional bioeconomy strategies, fully focused or relevant for the bioeconomy. Their deployment has accelerated following the launch of the revised EU Bioeconomy strategy in 2018.

Regional bioeconomy strategies are crucial for improving livelihoods in rural and coastal areas, managing natural resources sustainably and making the most of the availability of biological resources as well as the geographic, climatic, economic and political specificities of the EU regions.

The mapping exercise contributes to the action plan of the EU Bioeconomy strategy to monitor the deployment of local bioeconomies across the EU. It compiles the currently existing regional bioeconomy strategies at various levels of regional classification. These include NUTS1, NUTS2 and NUTS3 regions: major, basic and smaller regions respectively.

The study finds that 194 regions in EU27 have a strategic framework for bioeconomy in place or are in the process of doing so. Overall, there are 359 bioeconomy-relevant strategies at regional level in the EU. Of those, 334 frameworks are published in the form of documents such as strategies, action plans, roadmaps, and the rest are under development.

EU map illustrating the presence of bioeconomy strategies
Some regions have multiple strategies related to the bioeconomy. On this map, regions appear only with the strategy that is ranked highest in the strategy pyramid (see map legend).
© EU, 2022

Analysis and patterns

Some regions have several strategies in place at the same time, addressing various sectors, ranging from bio-based energy production or organic waste recycling to the processing of agricultural residues, to name a few.

A pie showing slices of different biomass resources
Diversity of biomass resources addressed in dedicated and regional strategies where the bioeconomy is a key element. A single strategy may address multiple types of resource.
© EU, 2022

The existence of regional bioeconomy strategies mainly depends on two factors. First, if the country is large and decentralised, it is likely that strategies related to the bioeconomy exist at regional level. Second, where a strategy for bioeconomy exists at national level, it can also apply to regional and local action and so, consequently, there may be fewer (dedicated) strategies at regional level.

In this case, bioeconomy at sub-national level may be predominantly embedded in wider strategic frameworks. However, even if a national strategy exists, there may still be regional frameworks to further specify actions and to focus on the specificities of the regions.


Publication date
13 October 2022
Joint Research Centre