Future of the European Forest Governance

27 November 2013

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A ThinkForest discussion dinner was organised at the European Parliament, Brussels on 27 November 2013 in order to discuss the future of European forest governance based on the results of a ThinkForest study and the latest developments within the forest related policy framework in Europe.

The event included presentations and discussions on the new EU Forest Strategy presented by the European Commission as well as the Legally Binding Agreement on European forests being currently discussed.


Significant political, environmental, socio-economic and technological changes are taking place at global, European and regional levels, which are increasing the demands and expectations on forest ecosystems and the services and resources they provide. This is reflected in the increasing number of EU policies and directives which in one way or another depend on forests and the forest based sector: rural development, climate change, energy, biodiversity, bioeconomy, etc. However, despite the relevance of European forests and the forest sector in many EU policies and targets, a solid strategic framework to ensure policy coherence and coordination is absent. The result is a fragmented forest policy framework including contradictions that might not provide the appropriate mechanisms and incentives to ensure that European forests, forest owners and the forest-based sector deliver in a sustainable way the goods and services with the highest added value for our society.

A key question to debate in the ThinkForest event is if the ongoing political negotiations for an EU Forest strategy and on a Legally Binding Agreement on Forests in Europe (at Pan-European level) will ensure the sustainable provision of forest goods and services with the highest value for our society.

Agenda (19:00-21:30)

Moderator: Marc Palahi, ThinkForest Coordinator

Welcoming words
Mr. Göran Persson, ThinkForest President
Mr. Gaston Franco, Member of the European Parliament
Mr. Ramon Tremosa, Member of the European Parliament

Presentation of ThinkForest study on the future of European forest governance
Dr. Peter Mayer and Dr. Helga Puelzl

Why do we need a new Forest Strategy for the EU? European Commission views
Mr. Markus Holzer, DG Agriculture and Rural Development
Mr. Peter Wehrheim, DG Climate Action

A Legally Binding Agreement on European forests: what it really means for sustainable forest management in Europe?
Mr. Jan Heino, Chair of the International Negotiating Committee for Legally Binding Agreement on European Forests

Stakeholder views
Dr. Aljoscha Requardt, The Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF)

Open discussion