European forest policy and forestry.

Capacity-building for policy entrepreneurship in Europe



There is no legal basis for a common forest policy but a range of funding schemes, regulations, strategies and action plans that affect forests and forestry in the member states of the European Union. The EU shares competences with member states in forest-related policy areas including rural development, environment and trade. Because demands on forests and forestry have grown considerably, a complex and dynamic forest policy field evolved in the EU. Therefore, this project supported forest actors in Bavaria to build-up capacities for policy entrepreneurship in Europe.

To achieve this aim and work closely with practitoners throughout the project different methods were applied including policy monitoring and content analysis, semi-structured interviews and surveys, conducting workshops and participation in various fora. Policy-relevant knowledge about forest governance in Europe was co-created with practitioners in Bavaria's sector. It helps them to anticipate developments in the fragmented arenas of Europe’s forest policy, and transform lessons learnt into an advanced capacity for strategic choice.


The advisory project created two major results for Bavaria's forest administration:

  • The "Handbook EU forest policy. Capacity building for policy entrepreneurship" (in German):
    It explains the EU forest strategy and forest-related policy fields, provides an overview of the relevant actors, arrives at recommendations for policy entrepreneuship and draws conclusions. A comprehensive list of abbreviations and an overview of MEPs from Germany complement the file.
  • The "EU forest policy field map":
    The map depicts the major actors in the EU forest policy field and how they are related. It provides insights into effective strategies for entrepreneurship.


Three articles target a broad audience:

Böhling; K. (2018) Forstpolitik in der EU. Ohne Vertragsgrundlage aber mit Konsequenzen für forstliche Akteure. LWF Aktuell 1 | 2018, pp. 49-51

Böhling, K., H. Eisele, A. Rumpel (2020) Natura 2000 in die Fläche bringen. Bayerns Implementationspraxis im Kontext europäischer Entwicklungen. LWF Aktuell 2 I 2020, S. 52-55

Böhling, K., H. Eisele (2020) Förster auf dem Weg. Vom Adressaten zum Mitgestalter von Forstpolitik in der EU. LWF Aktuell 4 I 2020


Various policy analyses were conducted throughout the project - one of which included a longitudinal and in-depth document study of the policy process that led to the LULUCF regulation. The regulation was adopted in 2018. From 2021 onwards, land use, land use change and forestry will for the first time contribute to the EU's economy-wide emission reduction targets.

Moreover, a qualitative content analysis laid the basis for a publication about the role of the European Commission in the Union's forest policy field. It reveals and discusses the Commission's interests and beliefs in EU forest policy.


Project staff:

Dr. Kathrin Böhling

Helena Eisele

Maria Fernanda Todeschini (Research Assistant)


Project duration:

3/2017 - 4/2020



Bavarian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forests