Forest industry's Lehtomäki met Ursula von der Leyen together with Prime Ministers in Stockholm
Finnish Forest Industries Federation’s CEO Paula Lehtomäki took part in discussions together with Prime Ministers Petteri Orpo and Ulf Kristersson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Stockholm.
The potential of forests and the forest industry as part of the European economy, long-term competitiveness and the green transition were discussed at the event. In addition to the Prime Ministers, there were Finnish and Swedish representatives of forest industry present.
- We had an excellent and timely meeting with the commission President Ursula von der Leyen as the European Commission is currently preparing its work program for its next 5 years term. I emphasized to the President the wide opportunities created by the forest-based bioeconomy, the importance of the forest industry as strengthening Europe's competitiveness and strategic open autonomy, Lehtomäki stated.
Lehtomäki mentioned the most recent State of the Union speech, where von der Leyen called Europe as a continent of forests.
- It was very positive today to hear that the President was strongly committed to supporting the opportunities and innovations offered by our industry in order to reach EU's open strategic autonomy and the EU's circular economy and climate neutrality goals.
Forest industry has been a significant and constantly renewing industry in the Nordic countries for more than 150 years. FFIF’s CEO Paula Lehtomäki highlighted the importance of constantly growing product range from forest industry such as biochemicals, textiles and biogenic coal for European competitiveness.
- Success requires an encouraging political framework with initiatives which highlight the climate benefits of wood-based products. We were very pleased to see Commission committing in future dialogue with the industry, Lehtomäki said.
- European regulatory environment should encourage the capture and utilization of biogenic carbon dioxide to replace the fossil economy, Lehtomäki continued.
The high-level ministerial meeting underlined the exceptionally important role of forests for Finland and Sweden - economically, environmentally and socially.