EU Bio-Based Economy Strategy

  • Maximilian Kardung
  • Justus WesselerEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Advances in Bioeconomy: Economics and Policies book series (PABEP)


The bio-based economy has increased in importance over the past decades. The sector has received substantial policy support. This chapter reviews the history of the policy developments and provides an overview about the current status and expectations for the future. The methods developed for measuring the bioeconomy and related challenges are discussed in more detail. The traditional sectors of the bioeconomy, agriculture, forestry, and fishery are well covered by national accounting systems while the bio-based economy sectors such as parts of the chemical sector are less covered. Another challenge is the monitoring of biomass production and biomass flows and related emissions.


  1. Berkel, J. Van, and R. Delahaye. 2019. Material Flow Monitor 2016 – Technical Report. Available at: /media/_pdf/2019/10/material%20flow%20monitor%202016%20cbs%20- %20technical%20report.pdf. Accessed 26 Aug 2019.
  2. Bioökonomierat. 2018. Bioeconomy Policy (Part III) – Update Report of National Strategies Around the World. Berlin: Office of the Bioeconomy Council.Google Scholar
  3. Birner, R. 2018. Bioeconomy Concepts. In Bioeconomy, ed. I. Lewandwski, 17–38. Cham: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bourguignon, D. 2016. Closing the Loop: New Circular Economy Package. European Parliamentary Research Service. Available at:
  5. Bugge, M., T. Hansen, and A. Klitkou. 2016. What Is the Bioeconomy? A Review of the Literature. Sustainability 8 (7): 691. Scholar
  6. Buongiorno, J. 2018. On the Accuracy of International Forest Product Statistics. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research 91 (5): 541–551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carus, M., and L. Dammer. 2018. The Circular Bioeconomy—Concepts, Opportunities, and Limitations. Industrial Biotechnology 14 (2): 83–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cherubini, F. 2010. The Biorefinery Concept: Using Biomass Instead of Oil for Producing Energy and Chemicals. Energy Conversion and Management 51 (7): 1412–1421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clomburg, J.M., A.M. Crumbley, and R. Gonzalez. 2017. Industrial Manufacturing: The Future of Chemical Production. Science 355 (6320): aag0804.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. European Commission. 1993. Growth, Competitiveness, and Employment. The Challenges and Ways Forward into the 21st Century. COM (93) 700 Final. Brussels: 05 Dec 1993.Google Scholar
  11. ———. 2005. New Perspectives on the Knowledge-Based Bio-Economy. Available at: Accessed 31 July 2018.
  12. ———. 2007. Accelerating the Development of the Market for Bio-based Products in Europe. Report of the Taskforce on Biobased Products Composed in Preparation of the Communication “A Lead Market Initiative for Europe”. Available at: Accessed 10 Aug 2018.
  13. ———. 2017. Expert Group Report – Review of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy and Its Action Plan. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.Google Scholar
  14. ———. 2018. A Sustainable Bioeconomy for Europe: Strengthening the Connection Between Economy, Society and the Environment. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.Google Scholar
  15. FAO. 2016. How Sustainability Is Addressed in Official Bioeconomy Strategies at International, National and Regional Levels: An Overview.
  16. ———. 2018. Assessing the Contribution of Bioeconomy to Countries’ Economy. A Brief Review of National Frameworks. Rome: FAO.Google Scholar
  17. Gafo, M. 2018. Bioeconomy in the New Common Agricultural Policy 2021–2027. Presentation at the 2018 Bioregions Forum. Available at: Accessed 10 May 2019.
  18. Heijman, W., Z. Szabó, and E. Veldhuizen. 2019. The Contribution of Biorefineries to Rural Development: The Case of Employment in Hungary. Studies in Agricultural Economics 121 (1): 1–12. Scholar
  19. Kallio, A.M.I., and B. Solberg. 2018. On the Reliability of International Forest Sector Statistics: Problems and Needs for Improvements. Forests 9: 407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kardung, M., O. Costenoble, L. Dammer, R. Delahaye, M. Lovricˊ, M. van Leeuwen, R. M’Barek, H. van Meijl, S. Piotrowski, T. Ronzon, D. Verhoog, H. Verkerk, M. Vrachioli, J. Wesseler, and B. Xinqi Zhu. 2019. Framework for Measuring the Size and Development of the Bioeconomy. BioMonitor Deliverable 1 (1). Available at:
  21. Morone, P. 2018. Sustainability Transition Towards a Biobased Economy: Defining, Measuring and Assessing. Sustainability (Switzerland) 10 (8). Scholar
  22. Negro, S.O., F. Alkemade, and M.P. Hekkert. 2012. Why Does Renewable Energy Diffuse So Slowly? A Review of Innovation System Problems. In Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 16(6): 3836–3846. Amsterdam: Elsevier Ltd. Scholar
  23. OECD. 2009. The Bioeconomy to 2030: Designing a Policy Agenda; Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. Paris: France.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Parisi, C. 2018. Research Brief: Biorefineries Distribution in the EU. European Commission – Joint Research Centre.
  25. PriceWaterhouseCoopers. 2011. Regional Biotechnology: Establishing a Methodology and Performance Indicators for Assessing Bioclusters and Relevant to the KBBE Area. Brussels. Via website:
  26. Project BERST. 2015. BioEconomy Regional Strategy Toolkit: Grant Agreement no: 613671.
  27. Spekreijse, J., T. Lammens, C. Parisi, T. Ronzon, and M. Vis. 2018. Insights into the European Market of Bio-Based Chemicals. Analysis Based on Ten Key Product Categories, EUR 29581 EN, PublicationsGoogle Scholar
  28. Tsiropoulos, I., R. Hoefnagels, M. van den Broek, M.K. Patel, and A.P.C. Faaij. 2017. The Role of Bioenergy and Biochemicals in CO2mitigation through the Energy System – A Scenario Analysis for the Netherlands. GCB Bioenergy 9 (9): 1489–1509. Scholar
  29. Wesseler, J. 2014. Biotechnologies and Agrifood Strategies: Opportunities, Threats and Economic Implications. Bio-Based and Applied Economics 3 (3): 187–204.Google Scholar
  30. Wesseler, J., and J. von Braun. 2017. Measuring the Bioeconomy: Economics and Policies. Annual Review of Resource Economics 9 (1): 275–298. Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy GroupWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations