The European Commission is preparing a comprehensive cross-sectoral EU algae initiative. The aim of the initiative is to increase the sustainable production, consumption and use of algae and algae-based products. Because of their small carbon and environmental footprint, raising the profile of algae will help achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal, the transition to a green, circular and carbon-neutral EU.
Algae represent a largely untapped resource in Europe. They can be used to produce food, feed, pharmaceuticals, bioplastics, fertilisers and biofuels. The potential of algae is recognized in EU initiatives such as Farm to Fork and the new circular economy action plan.
A recent public consultation on the Commission’s inception impact assessment revealed a broad interest in the subject. EU and non-EU citizens, research institutions, NGOs, business organisations, companies and public authorities contributed with their opinions and suggestions.
The overwhelming majority of responses to the consultation confirmed the relevance of five priorities to unlock the potential of the EU algae sector:
1. Improving regulatory and governance framework
2. Supporting functioning of the market
3. Improving business environment
4. Increasing social awareness and acceptance
5. Closing knowledge, research and innovation gaps
Respondents also agreed that the EU has an important role to support the development of the EU algae sector and should help make the algae sector more competitive and sustainable.
Based on the consultation and further preparatory work in the course of 2021, the Commission will now identify effective actions, new opportunities and the needs of the sector to be considered within the forthcoming EU Algae Initiative.
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