Beyond the Apple of Discord: Changing our Agri Culture

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Start date: 22/07/2021
End date: 22/07/2021
Where: Virtual Meeting

As can be seen from the ongoing CAP negotiations, agriculture has always been seen as the apple of EU discord. This has become even more pronounced as the SDGs and European priorities have shifted putting the EU Green Deal at the centre of the political agenda and calling for a rethinking of how we approach agriculture, sustainability and innovation. The ambition of the Farm to Fork Strategy and the Biodiversity Strategy will require close collaboration between sustainability and innovation to develop a new pathway forward that goes beyond the current stalemate. However, public discourse and the narratives framing these issues remain relics of a past environment and inhibit any movement in this direction. The narratives are presented as members of two antagonistic groups referred to for convenience as “precaution focused” versus “innovation-focused”.

Re-Imagine Europa (RIE) launched a Task Force on Sustainable Agriculture and Innovation to create a forum for real dialogue between different viewpoints on the topic. In particular, the aim is to better understand the emotions and values behind different perspectives and to see if, with ambitious climate goals as a clear priority, it is possible to find positive pathways forward. RIE presents two related reports, looking at what we can learn from existing narratives and the ramifications for policy.

Beyond the Apple of Discord: Existing Narratives and Ways Forward

White Paper on the Regulation of Genome Editing in Agriculture



Day 1. 22/07/2021
10:30 - 10:35
Erika Widegren
10:35 - 10:45
Introductory remarks by the Chair
Professor Louise Fresco
10:45 - 11:15
Presentation of Task Force Deliverables
Erika Widegren, Prof. Andrzej Nowak, Dr Peter Kearns
11:15 - 12:20
Contribution and Discussion with Keynote Speakers:
- Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski; - Minister Maria do Céu Antunes (tbc); - Mr Norbert Lins MEP; - Professor Urs Niggli.
Chair: Prof. Louise Fresco
12:20 - 12:30
Closing remarks
Chair: Professor Louise Fresco


Prof. Louise Fresco
President of the Wageningen University & Research Executive Board and Vice Chair of the Scientific Group of the UN Food Systems Summit
Janusz Wojciechowski Portrait
Janusz Wojciechowski
European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development
Maria do Céu Antunes
Portuguese Minister of Agriculture (tbc)
Norbert Lins Portrait
Norbert Lins
MEP, Chair, Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, European Parliament
Urs Niggli
President of
Erika Staël von Holstein Portrait
Erika Widegren
Chief Executive, Re-Imagine Europa
Peter Kearns Portrait
Peter Kearns
Special Advisor to Re-Imagine Europa - Re-Imagine Planet Task Force; former Principal Administrator, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (Steering Committee)
Prof. Andrzej Nowak
Professor of psychology at the University of Warsaw, Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities and Florida Atlantic University - Chief Narrative Scientist - Re-Imagine Europa


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