Rural Development

The Rural Coalition and the Coalition of European Agriregions, representatives of rural local actors - farmers, forest owners, rural value chain actors, landowners, hunters and regional authorities - call for the EU to support the diversity of its rural areas. This will require setting up an ambitious strategy for the development of rural areas in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post 2020, providing an adequate budget in the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), and not leaving rural communities behind in the European Green Deal.

Open letter – Amplify the local voices and address rural development in the CAP post 2020

Press Release 18/02/2020

Programme "Amplifying the local voices" - Event on 18/02/2020


Innovation Conference


Innovation Conference 2021

What role will and should agri-technologies play in the delivering of the F2F strategy?

Tue, 23 February 2021 
15:30 – 17:00 CET

Online Event

During the conference, we explored what role innovation could play in the Farm to Fork (F2F) strategy. What is the EU's plan for innovation in agriculture? What technologies which are currently available or developed could help farmers meet the F2F targets? During this event, we both took the perspective from the policy-maker, the industry as well as from the farm-level.

We explored how agricultural innovation can contribute to achieving the goals set out by the Paris Climate Agreement. Speakers introduced the innovative solutions they are developing for making the EU climate positive. What political and practical challenges do they foresee? How to scale-up successful experiments?

Find the recording of the conference HERE -->



2021 Innovation Conference2
Please click here to download the speakers’ presentations







Innovation Conference 9


Hosted by Martin Hlaváฤek MEP

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

European Parliament, Paul-Henri Spaak Building - Room 5B1


Explore how agricultural innovation can contribute to achieving the goals set out by the Paris Climate Agreement. Speakers will introduce the innovative solutions they are developing for making the EU climate positive. What political and practical challenges do they foresee? How to scale-up successful experiments?


Opening speech

Martin Hlaváฤek, MEP, Renew Europe Group

Keynote speech

Michael Prinz zu Salm-Salm, Head of EU Affairs and former President, Familienbetriebe Land und Forst

Panel 1: Innovation through technology

Andreas Huber, Integrated Field Sciences EMEA Leader at Corteva

Pedro Carillo Donaire, Founder & CEO EC2CE

Panel 2: Innovation in farm practices

Chiara Manoli, Regulatory Affairs, ILSA

Saskia Visser, Program leader Sustainable Land Use, Wageningen University

Jürgen Vangeyte, Scientific Director Agricultural Engineering, ILVO



Conference 2019

The future of the agricultural sector faces a number of serious challenges now and in the coming decades. Climate change, increasing yields for a growing global population, increasing resistance against new and existing threats, and creating sustainable land use. While these challenges and their solutions are manifold, innovations in the seed breeding sector – especially new gene editing techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9 – promise to assist in answering these challenges. However, the European Court of Justice has decided that these new techniques should fall under the restrictive European legislation on GMOs, and this may seriously hinder their uptake and field use in Europe.

During the conference, we will examine the consequences of the Court decision for the future of plant breeding in Europe, how to move forward, as well as practical farm problems that could be resolved through these technologies.


Hosted by Anne Schreijer-Pierik MEP

Wednesday, January 9, 2019
from 16:30 to 18:30
European Parliament Room PHS 4 B 001 




innovation conf




Agricultural trends and the role of technology: challenges and opportunities for tomorrow’ food production

1st December 2015


Brussels Press Club- Rue Froissart 93; 1040 Brussels


The development of drone technologies for the farming sector, but also mobile applications and use of GPS, is increasingly transforming the agricultural activities, requiring also from farmer and manager a different kind of knowledge. The integration of digital technology in agriculture and the data flow collected can help to better manage resources and production. But  global trend between the development of food demand seem to challenge the sustainability of the food production. Can these technologies help achieving a low-input agriculture? How far can we go, and how accessible are these technologies for farmers? Finally, what policy environment for these technologies in terms of data protection and data ownership?

Program and Speakers' biography

This event was free of charge and is has been made possible thanks to the kind support of: Deutz-Fahr, BASF and Yara.



Speakers' presentations:

- Welcoming speech, Thierry de l'Escaille, ELO Secretary General

Achim Dobermann, Director, Rothamsted Research Institute as the Keynote

- Ana Cuadrado Galvin, REsearch Programme Officer, Research & Innovation Unit, DG AGRI, EC

Frits van Evert, Professor, Plant Research International, Wageningen University & Research Centre

Rudolf Tornerhjelm, Estate manager, Swedish Landowners’ Association

Massimo Ribaldone, Director for R&D, Same Deutz- Fahr

- Walter Haefeker, President, European Professional Beekeeping Association

- Concluding remarks, Thierry de l'Escaille, ELO Secretary General








Watch the video from Mr Haefeker's presentation - Achieving low cost by using mass produced components: 

Biodiversity Conference

The European Biodiversity Conference is an annual high level conference organized by the ELO since 2010. The conference gathers land managers, landowners, policy makers, NGOs and industry representatives to discuss the participation of land users and land managers in the protection of biodiversity, as much as agro businesses and industries, from different angels. 

Every year the conference hosts the Belleuropa Award that honors a Wildlife Estate Label territory which has realized an important step forward to maintain, protect or improve land for the benefit of biodiversity, using agri-environmental measures and achieving significant results from an environmental point of view.

Next European Biodiversity Conferences 

The 2021 Edition will be announced next summer/autumn.

Previous European Biodiversity Conferences 

 FINAL POSTER. Bio 8.12.2020 page 001

Download the PowerPoint presentation here


2019 - "Belowground life & biodiversity for a healthy soil"

10 December 2019 – 14h30-18h00 at the European Parliament (Brussels)

 Agenda of the day


Speakers' Presentations:

Keynote “Soil biodiversity: why we need to think big to care for a small world”, Prof. Dr. Gerard GOVERS, KU Leuven

Panel 1: Driving forces that influence biodiversity in agricultural soils 
Carbon farming, Christine MÜLLER, Policy Officer, DG Climate Action- Land Use and Innovation Finance 
• The key to the maintenance and protection of biodiversity lies in sustainable soil management, Galina PEYCHEVA-MITEV, Farmer, Bulgaria

Panel 2: Policy and strategic framework for soil quality 
• Soil life requires a paradigm shift in EU agricultural policy and practice, Celia NYSSENS, Policy Officer for Agriculture, EEB 
 Soil biodiversity, Andrea VETTORI, Deputy Head of Unit, DG ENV- Soil Unit 
• Keep soil alive: protect soil biodiversity, Ronald VARGAS, FAO, Secretary of the Global Soil Partnership

Panel 3: Innovation to improve soil health 
 Defining, measuring and managing soil health, Yara, Koen VAN KEER 
• Are biostimulants key enabling technologies to improve soil health? CropFit - Ghent University, Maaike PERNEEL

2018 - “Rethinking the biodiversity strategy: Where do private land managers fit in?”

4 December 2018- 14h00-17h00 at the Residence Palace (Rue de la Loi 155 | 1040 Brussels)

For the agenda of the day please click here

For the Pictures please click here


2017 - "A new CAP: Opportunities and threats for biodiversity"

Tuesday 5th December 2017, European Parliament (Room Alterio Spinelli A3E-2) from 12.30 to 14.30

For the agenda of the day please click here.

2016 - "Biodiversity friendly farming: is organic the future?"

Wednesday 7th December 2016, Residence Palace (rue de la Loi 155, 1000 - Brussels) from 10.00 to 13.00


Speaker's presentations:

Opening speech, Karl-Heinz FLORENZ, MEP & President of the Intergroup Biodiversity, Hunting and Countryside


Panel Discussion

Claudia OLAZÁBAL, Head of Unit Natural Capital-Land use and Management, DG ENV, European Commission





2015 – "Managing Europe's carbon stocks for Climate resilient ecosystems"

Wednesday 9th December 2015, Press Club Brussels Europe (rue Froissart 95, 1000 - Brussels) from 15.00 to 19.30


Speakers' presentations:

Opening speech, Thierry de l'ESCAILLE, ELO Secretary General

“Incentivising soil carbon storage in European agriculture” by Alan MATTHEWS, Professor, European Agricultural Policy in the Department of Economics, School of Social Sciences and Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin

“Land use in the Paris Climate Conference (COP21)” by Peter WEHRHEIM, Head of Unit, Climate Finance and deforestation, DG CLIMA, European Commission

“Land use and ambitious climate policies” by Pieter de POUS, Policy Director, EEB

“Maintaining farmed landscapes for Climate Change mitigation/adaptation” by Nathaniel PAGE, Director, Fundatia ADEPT Transilvania


For the agenda of the day please click here.





2014 – “Facing climate change: adapting our land management”

2013 – “Land use: why do we care about biodiversity?”

2012 – “Towards a Green Economy”

2011 – “The 2020 Biodiversity strategy: a public-private partnership for sustainable resource use”

2010 “Sustainable agriculture supporting biodiversity”

FFA Regional: Reims

The Forum for the Future of Agriculture held a meeting in January 2017 in Reims, France with agricultural experts, stakeholders, and decision makers to discuss the question “Can France remain a global agricultural player?

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss global competitiveness, the future of the CAP, and the integration of the circular economy in agricultural processes. Food and environmental security are central to our survival and one cannot be achieved without the other. Participants agreed that even if discussions in Brussels are vital, the essential initiatives can only take place locally and are needed in all regions of Europe. These will create the changes that are needed, and it is local stakeholders who are the ones who must drive progress in the countryside.

“Mission Innovation 2025” was given as an example to bring new ideas into French agriculture. Consisting of 30 innovative projects, the report develops three priorities for a new agricultural revolution: to develop a systematic approach to combating climate change through agriculture, to look at new technologies and tools for agriculture, and to empower different stakeholders to generate experimental research that can develop Europe’s competitive edge.

All agreed that the agriculture of tomorrow needs not just innovation, flexibility, and a new CAP, but mainly a renewed commitment from Europe, its land managers and the general public.

1.Regional FFA Reims

European Tree of the Year


ETY2018 copyright ELO 08 logo


The European Tree of the Year contest is a very popular event which is thriving and enjoying its growing popularity. In 2019 we revealed the results of the contest’s ninth edition.

The Award ceremony of the European Tree of the Year took place in the European Parliament on 19th of March. The UN International day of forests on the 21st of March which helped to increase participation of MEPs, EU officials and other stakeholders. This year the Ceremony took place under the patronage of EU ENVI Commissioner Karmenu VELLA. Fifteen countries participated with their candidates carefully chosen in national contests. The event was co-organized by ELO and EPA (Environmental Partnership Association) the organizer of the contest. ELO brings its experience in EU lobbying and influencing the environmental and agricultural policies, increasing the impact of the event on Brussels policy makers’.

Highlighting the significance of trees for Europe’s natural and cultural heritage, the European Tree of the Year is an ideal vehicle to communicate our policy messages to the Brussels’ audience and it helps maintain good relations between ELO and EU officials as well as MEPs.

The voting took place during February and everyone could choose their favourite trees and vote. This year the candidates received more than 300,000 votes from all over Europe. The Almond tree of the Snowy Hill in Pécs dominated the ETY2019 and became the overall winner receiving more than 45,000 votes. All the winners have been honoured at the Award Ceremony hosted by MEP Pavel POC, Vice-chair of the ENVI Committee.

Is your country not participating? Can you suggest a reliable organization to join our family of “tree lovers”, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Twitter: @Treeoftheyear
Facebook: Tree of the Year
Instagram: treeoftheyear

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