Rhine-Meuse Forum 2024

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Rhine-Meuse Forum 2024: The future of the European Green Deal and the contribution of the bioeconomy

The European Green Deal by the current European Commission (2019-2024) aims to accelerate a transition to a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy. However, with the European elections on the horizon, the question is what happens next with the Green Deal? How can circular bioeconomy and renewable resources help to implement the political goals and give them new impetus? What role can they play on the road to a carbon-neutral Europe by 2050?

Organised under the auspices of the Belgian Presidency of the Council and under the patronage of the European Parliament, the Rhine-Meuse Forum 2024, which as held on 25 January, was the opportunity to bring together various stakeholders from regional, national and European levels to discuss these issues with representatives from politics, research, business and civil society and to propose concrete solutions. Regional cooperation between the various players in Germany, France, the Benelux countries and Switzerland is close, but there are still major challenges ahead of us.

Rhin-Meuse Forum 2024 © Cédric Puisney Photography

© Cédric Puisney Photography

View all the photos here


Relive the event, the speeches and the round tables on video


  • Markus Schulte, Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Iliana Ivanova, European Commission
  • Peter Hauk, Minister for Food, Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection Baden-Württemberg
  • Anne Sander, President of Grand Est-Europe, Member of the European Parliament, Regional counsellor of Grand Est Region


How to speed up research in bioeconomy for sustainable innovations?

Moderator: Dirk Carrez, Director, Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC)

  • Peter Hauk, Minister for Food, Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection Baden-Württemberg
  • Norbert Lins, Member of the European Parliament, Chair of AGRI committee
  • Peter Wehrheim, Head of Unit Bioeconomy & Food Systems, DG RTD, European Commission
  • Sophie Roelants, Co-funder & CEO of AmphiStar
  • Christophe Clément, 1st Vice President of the University Reims Champagne-Ardenne, 1st Vice president of the competitiveness cluster “Bioeconomy for Change”
  • Tobias Wolfinger, Scientific Managing Director Technikum Laubholz


Can we sustainably make the most of rural areas’ natural resources?

Moderator: Alexander van den Bosch, Senior Advisor European Affairs, House of the Dutch Provinces

  • Christophe Hansen, chair of the committee on the environment, climate and biodiversity, Chamber of Deputies of Luxembourg
  • Michael Pielke, Acting Director of Sustainability Division, DG AGRI, European Commission
  • Béatrice Moreau, Vice-President in charge of agriculture, vineyards and forestry, Grand Est Region
  • Dirk Jacobs, Director General of FoodDrinkEurope
  • Wolfgang Kraus, Director of Research and Development, Südzucker Group


Closing of the morning session

Jean-Claude Meyer, Deputy Secretary General of the Benelux Union


Are we able to decarbonise our energy system with our own resources and technologies?

Moderator: Jan Molema, Director at Benelux Union

  • Henrike Hahn, Member of the European Parliament, member of Committee on Industry, Research and Energy – could not attend
  • Joaquim Nunes de Almeida, Director at DG Grow, European Commission
  • Jan Jacob Boom-Wichers, CEO of Holosolis
  • Maximin Charpentier, President of the Chamber of Agriculture of Grand Est
  • Andreas Lemmer, Deputy Director of the Baden Würtemberg, State Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioenergy, Hohenheim University
  • Viola Rocher, Managing Director of the EU Representation, German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW)


How can bioeconomy contribute to greener cities and industries?

Moderator: Christophe Lugel, Head of Industrialisation and Financing, Bioeconomy4Change and vice-president of BIC

  • Andre Baumann, State Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Energy, Land of Baden Würtemberg
  • Esther Rommel, Minister responsible for spatial planning, economy, ports and leisure, Dutch Province of North-Holland
  • Hans Ingels, Head of unit bioeconomy, DG GROW, European Commission
  • Ursula Schließmann, Deputy Director, Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB
  • Metin Bulut, Business Development Manager, VITO Belgium



  • Andre Baumann, State Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Energy, Land of Baden Würtemberg
  • Philippe Mangin, Vice-President for bioeconomy, bioenergies and sustainable food, Grand Est Region
  • David Clarinval, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Self-Employed, SMEs and Agriculture, Institutional Reforms and Democratic Renewal, On behalf of the Belgian presidency of the Council