We are ending this legislative term on a very positive note, as the European Commission launched the Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative, with actions to advance deployment in the EU.

My biggest message to the future European Commission is this:

We're here to replace fossil-based materials and products with a renewable forest bioeconomy. The forest industry offers a variety of solutions to meet the needs of consumers, industry and society in general. Our sector's ever-growing range of products extends from solid wood building components to high-tech nanocellulose. We are already contributing to the circular bioeconomy and to a greener and more prosperous European Union.

I am very pleased to notice that the Commission recognises the potential of innovative forest-based products, such as batteries, biochemicals, textile fibres or biomedical and healthcare applications. Naturally, the Finnish Forest Industry is delighted to see that our vision of a renewable future is now on the EU's political agenda.

"Biotechnology is shaping Europe's future. This is the hidden power of trees," said the President Ursula Von der Leyen. We cannot but agree!

To further promote the forest industry's essential role in responding to environmental challenges, as well as the EU's goals of industrial competitiveness and strategic autonomy, an encouraging regulatory framework that highlights the availability of sustainable raw materials and the climate benefits of wood-based products as an integral part of the future is needed.

The forest industry offers solutions that can replace fossil-intensive products and store carbon of biological origin.

Through sustainable forest management, we promote long-term carbon sequestration and biodiversity, and source our main raw materials from renewable raw materials. There is a real opportunity for the EU to take the lead in global biomanufacturing in this field.

Solutions are available to kick-start the transition of the EU's fossil fuel-based manufacturing infrastructure to bio-based manufacturing. The bioeconomy provides biobased products that are largely sourced, manufactured, used, and recycled in Europe. The growth of the biobased products market strengthens Europe's strategic autonomy.

In September 2023, the Commission and Council agreed that the single market should be deepened during the EU’s next five-year cycle and asked politician and former Italian prime minister, Enrico Letta, to provide a report on its future.

In April 2024, Enrico Letta presented the report and recommended that the Commission and Council prioritise deepening the single market. We are ready for the challenge, but to capitalise upon the full potential of our industry for the well-being of people and the planet, we need better regulation, a coherent and predictable framework that promotes the circular bioeconomy and helps us investing in the future.

We are in Brussels to be seen and heard. That's why we have built our showroom, which represents a broad spectrum of our ecosystem's products. I invite you to visit us in Montoyer 40 and I also wish you all a fantastic election time – nothing better in politics than elections, right?