Report & Highlights following the meeting on 13 April 2022
The chairman, Mr. Esko Aho, former Prime Minister of Finland, welcomed all members at this 2nd meeting. He reminded them of our role: these independent tripartite High Level Groups on EU Policy Innovation need to ‘think outside-the-box’, according to their original mandate from the Competitiveness Council.
The EU has amplified its efforts to combat deforestation through the Commission’s Deforestation Proposal, which aims to minimise the consumption of products coming from supply chains associated with deforestation and forest degradation. At the same time, the EU is also consolidating a European supply chain law, also known as the Due Diligence Proposal, that will require all companies above a certain size to exercise human rights and environmental due diligence along their supply chains regardless of their sector.
The HLG addressed these issues by examining the challenges to the implementation of these policy proposals arising from the difficulty of conducting due diligence in non-EU areas, the lack of standardisation, and the difference between Europe and other areas of the globe in terms of deforestation, forest degradation, and their imports. In this context, the HLG also explored considerations for the innovation ecosystem approach with the view of creating an ecosystem where positive outcomes are created simultaneously with economically profitable businesses that can guarantee that everything is produced according to high standards. The discussion outlined guideline elements for the innovation ecosystem approach, which include identifying the practical steps to provide standardization and ensuring the Commission’s alignment on this.