BIOREGIO High-level Dissemination Event

BIOREGIO – Regional circular economy models and best available technologies for biological streams organized its final high-level dissemination event on 11 May 2021. The overall importance of this event can be seen in the inclusion by the European Commission as one of the partner events of the EU Green Week 2021. The event was attended by more than 60 representatives of various stakeholders from 11 European countries. The online event was hosted by the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra (SUA), one of the BIOREGIO partners.

Picture 1. The BIOREGIO project partners discussing their achievements at the final high-level event. (Picture: Katerina Medkova)

Bio-based circular economy: EU level perspective

The event was opened by the SUA vice-rector Ivan Takáč and the vice-chairman of the Nitra Self-Governing Region Tibor Csenger. The Project Manager Katerina Medkova (2021), from LAB University of Applied Sciences, gave a well-founded and interesting presentation of BIOREGIO and its significant benefits to supporting the bio-based circular economy in partner regions.

The keynote speakers were representatives of the major European institutions. Marie Guitton, Policy Officer at Interreg Europe, presented the state of play of the Interreg Europe Programme. She evaluated BIOREGIO active contribution and congratulated on great achievements, especially on improving nine policy instruments. Ms Guitton also informed about the direction of the Interreg Europe programme in the upcoming period. The programme evolution can be seen, for instance, defining only one single priority instead of the current four, to better reflect the core focus on capacity building. (Guitton 2021.)

Pavel Mišiga, the representative of the European Commission from the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, described the current state and vision of the circular bioeconomy in the EU. He emphasized the importance of the circular bioeconomy as an important transition pathway towards a circular and carbon-neutral economy (Mišiga 2021.)

The section was closed by Ivan Filus, who acts as the national contact point for Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe in the field of innovation. In his speech on the EU Green Deal, he defined its role in the new Horizon Europe framework programme. Horizon Europe is the largest EU research and innovation programme with a total budget of EUR 100 billion with four Green Deal missions: climate adaption, oceans, cities, and soil. (Filus 2021.)

National Level (Slovakia)

In the section dedicated to Slovakia, insights by representatives of the Ministry of the Environment and the National Council of the Slovak Republic were given. Miroslava Masničáková (2021) presented an overview of legislation in waste management, focusing on the obligations of municipalities in the management of kitchen waste. Vladimír Ledecký (2021) continued with the possibilities of implementing projects focused on bio-based circular economy in less developed regions of Slovakia. The participants responded to the presented topics with a rich discussion in the chat of the online meeting.

Regional Achievements

At the regional level, the results of the BIOREGIO action plans and their implementation were presented by representatives of partners from Finland, Spain, Greece, Slovakia, Romania and France. They highlighted the activities increasing the recycling rates of biological materials. Furthermore, all partners’ regions emphasized better preparedness for the development of relevant regional policies to support the bio-based circular economy focused on closing the cycle of biological materials.

This international event declared a gradual transition to a wider and more sustainable use of biological resources throughout the EU, which is also one of the main BIOREGIO goals. The event can be assessed as very successful. All presentations of guests and project partners are accessible from the BIOREGIO website.

The original article was published in the LAB Focus blog on 2.6.2021: