underlining the importance of involving all stakeholders in the implementation of the Strategy while minimising administrative burden ;
the need to strike a good balance between environmental, social and economic aspects of the Strategy ;
any weakening of subsidiarity to be avoided
more tailored, regional approach needed, given the diversity of forests in Europe
importance of the sector for the Rural areas: socio-economic role of the forestry sector is important for the development of rural areas and local economies in many regions In Europe
European Parliament adopted the report on the New EU Forest strategy on 12 September 2022.
In the same vein as the CoR opinion, the EP "highlights the importance of a solid science-based strategy, considering the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainability in an integrated and balanced way, given that, in addition to contributing to climate and biodiversity goals, including through the protection of soils and water, forests provide economic and social benefits and a wide range of services, from a means of livelihood to recreation".
Both institutions regret that the new EU Forest Strategy was not properly developed together with relevant stakeholders while underlining the importance of cooperation for implementing the new EU Forest Strategy for 2030. Furthermore, they both stress the importance and diversity of EU forests and call for their sustainable management developed together with forest owners.
Moreover, the EP and CoR report underscore the importance of forests and forestry sector for rural areas where it represents "an important pillar of income and employment" while also providing various forest ecosystem services.
The CoR and EP rapporteur cooperated closely in the process of the drafting of both reports and share the same vision of the EU Forest strategy for 2030. The CoR rapporteur presented the opinion during Intergroup meeting on EP Intergroup event on Sustainable management of Forests, alongside a number of MEPs active in the field.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
calls for the Commission to deal with the climate and biodiversity objectives and the forest bioeconomy objectives in a balanced, environmentally, socially and economically fair way, which is one of the fundamental pillars of the European Green Deal (5.6);
believes that setting a framework and common objectives at European level is a very good idea, but calls for any weakening of subsidiarity and of the role of the Member States in this area to be avoided, given the diversity of forests in Europe, and for a more tailored, regional approach to be adopted. The CoR also shares the view that while the Treaties do not list "forest policy" among the EU's explicit competences, the EU has a wide range of competences on related matters, which have been exercised in legal texts addressing forestry issues (9);
recommends committing clear and realistic financial resources since, although a significant increase in EU funding for sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation can be interpreted from the EU Forest Strategy, the need to depend on funds that already have other objectives and allocations (e.g. CAP) and the lack of contribution from other EU funds in a general context marked by Brexit, the post-COVID-19 economic crisis and an inflation rise, it is questionable whether the current EU underfunding of forestry and biodiversity will be reversed in the short or medium term (60-65);