TP Organics takes part in the Horizon Europe consultation for umbrella organisations
TP Organics submitted a response to the second and final consultation on Horizon Europe, the EU’s next research & innovation framework programme that will succeed Horizon 2020. The European Commission launched this consultation to collect feedback on the revised Orientations towards the first Strategic Plan from umbrella organisations and networks with a cross-border dimension.
Prioritise organic and agroecological approaches
In the response, TP Organics calls for Horizon Europe as a public policy to support all the targeted impacts of Cluster 6, Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment. Research and innovation in Cluster 6 of Horizon Europe should support the transition to sustainable food and farming systems that restore and enhance public health, the climate and environment.
Organic and agroecological approaches that use natural resources efficiently and sustainably, create circular systems and reduce soil erosion and pollution of the environment should be prioritised. By drawing down carbon from the atmosphere into the soil, organic and agroecological approaches reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They contribute to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, halting the rapid biodiversity loss and restoring ecosystems and their services.
Include organisational, social, knowledge and governance innovations
To respond to societal challenges, innovation must look at the broader social impact of technology and consider how and by whom it is used and controlled. The transition to sustainable food systems also requires new societal and cultural models. Therefore, organisational, social, knowledge and governance innovations should be promoted alongside technological ones.
A robust monitoring system must be applied throughout the full project cycle – from the design of calls to the evaluation of proposals and review of projects – to ensure that all clusters of Horizon Europe contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Accommodate for research in European policies & organic action plans
To transform the European agri-food sector, a Farm To Fork Strategy on sustainable food along the whole value chain is needed, including a profound revision of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The new CAP’s eco-schemes should contribute to environmental objectives, support farming methods based on agroecological principles and deliver for rural development.
Organic farming can play a vital role in this transformation. Research for organic farming can be strengthened through European, national and regional Organic Action Plans. Research accompanying the implementation of the new CAP should measure its impact on the transition towards more sustainable food systems. New policies should consider hidden costs and externalities and better assess the synergies and trade-offs between agricultural practices, public goods and ecosystem services. Stringent monitoring systems that measure the progress towards sustainability and food security in Europe are required. Food procurement policies should be designed to support young farmers and new entrants, encourage more sustainable production and support rural economies.
Engage citizens in the planning
Finally, TP Organics also provided feedback about the co-design process to address the lack of active engagement with citizens and civil society organisations during the strategic planning process, calling for a concrete roadmap that addresses barriers to societal engagement and pilots robust and innovative approaches such as the well-proven citizens’ assemblies.
During the Horizon Europe strategic planning process, two sets of co-design activities took place between June and October 2019:
- A web-based consultation open to the broad public to which TP Organics submitted a response. 6,806 answers have been collected between 28 June and 4 October 2019.
- Meetings and exchanges between the Commission’s services and almost 4,000 stakeholders during the European Research and Innovation Days 24-26 September 2019 (read TP Organics' review).
These activities fed into a report and the revised version of the Orientations towards the first Strategic Plan for Horizon Europe. The latter was the subject of this final online consultation.
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