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Although forest management policies remain the responsibilities of Member States, EU policy already recognises the interplay of different aspects and policy objectives within the common theme of ‘forests’: in wealth creation and employment, natural resources and raw materials, nature conservation and biodiversity, mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, and in energy and agriculture. Consequently, some 10 Directorates-General in the European Commission are responsible for policies that concern forests. This creates a significant challenge to policy-makers to ensure a systematic approach, to avoid conflicts and to enhance sustainability and synergies between different policy domains. In particular, recent decisions in the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Paris Climate agreement require fast and firm actions related to the use and management of forests and their products. Such global objectives require that national, regional and global policies are consistent with each other.