Country Fact Sheets

Get an overview of the bioeconomy sector in Central and Eastern Europe

The Central and Eastern Europe macro-region includes eight Central and Eastern European countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia.

All these countries belong to the BIOEAST macro-region that include also Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. The BIOEAST macroregion is a grouping of 11 countries that have come together under the Central-Eastern European Initiative for Knowledge-Based Agriculture, Aquaculture and Forestry in the Bioeconomy - BIOEAST - offering a
shared strategic research and innovation framework for sustainable bioeconomy efforts in Central and Eastern European countries.

The BIOEAST initiative in the member states helps to perceive the concept of bioeconomy and supports the member states in setting up a strategic framework. For the ShapingBio project, which monitors the state of the bioeconomy in European countries (macro-regions), this initiative is a good example of how this approach helps to implement bioeconomy in individual states.


SWOT Analysis of the Central and Eastern Euroope Region


In the SWOT analysis below, an overview of the region’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are provided. As you can see, in the Central and Eastern Europe RegiontThe BIOEAST Initiative has fostered policy involvement and stakeholder engagement. R&D expenditure is rising, with a focus on innovative food products, paper, pulp, pharmaceuticals, and biological chemicals. There’s a growing demand for bio-based products and technologies, with untapped biomass sources in CEE countries. The bioeconomy is rejuvenating traditional industries and benefiting from international cooperation.

Below is a map summarising the main strategies, collaborative structures and policy instruments in the Central and Eastern Europe macro-region (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia).


The bioeconomy in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is focused on sustainable use of renewable resources, with significant employment in the EU bioeconomy. Challenges include lack of infrastructure, investment, and coherent policies.

The CEE relies heavily on fossil fuels, with limited bio-based industry experience. Transitioning to a bio-based economy requires substantial investments, which is difficult for CEE countries with lower GDP per capita. There’s potential in unused biomass residues and by-products, but biorefinery capacities are lacking, and there’s low awareness of circular solutions.

Cooperation among CEE countries is crucial for developing solutions. Agricultural systems vary across the CEE, necessitating tailored bioeconomy strategies. Cultural shifts and skilled workforce development are needed, as well as knowledge transfer from advanced bioeconomy countries. Regulatory and political challenges also impede bioeconomy progress, with unclear policies and lack of dedicated strategies.

A macro-regional Bioeconomy Observatory is needed to monitor benefits and guide development.


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If you’re curious to know more about the bioeconomy sector in the Baltic See Region, you can read the recently published report called ”Report on macro-regions – Mapping of initiatives, structures, instruments and key challenges for EU’s macro-regions"

Get an overview of the bioeconomy sector in Central and Eastern Europe