At the 7th Ministerial Conference held in Madrid in October 2015, the FOREST EUROPE signatories and observers had decided on a review of the process, especially its structures, procedures and work modalities with a view to adapting to current and future challenges. The review was launched by adopting the Terms of Reference with Roadmap, and by appointing two co-chair countries, France and Ukraine, to lead the Working Group on Future Direction of FOREST EUROPE (WG) at the Expert Level Meeting in May 2016 (see link).
The first meeting of the WG took place on 12–13 October 2016, in Bratislava. Participants from 21 signatory countries and the European Union as well as seven international observer organizations attended the event, which indicates a keen interest in the momentum generated by the review. The format of the meeting was a discussion forum to enable brainstorming about issues that require attention and will need to be addressed. Its outcomes provide a key input to the comprehensive, web-based questionnaire survey of opinions of all signatories and observers to be developed before end of 2016, and conducted in the beginning of 2017.