European Soil Partnership




In the context of the activities of the Global Soil Partnership, the Global Soil Partnership Secretariat convened a workshop during the second Global Soil Week (October 2013) to discuss about the establishment of the European Soil Partnership (ESP). The Berlin communiqué was prepared by the participant GSP partners and agreed to establish the European Soil Partnership whose Secretariat is based in the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission in Ispra, Italy. Also, the establishment of a Sub-regional Soil Partnership within the European Soil Partnership whose Secretariat would be based in Moscow, Russian Federation was endorsed. An ad-hoc steering committee was set up in order to support the different activities that would be implemented.

The ESP is aiming towards federating all various stakeholders and institutions in Europe willing to adopt the principles of the World Soil Charter. You may read all the details about the GSP and the related other regional soil partnerships at the GSP portal: aim of the ESP is to bring together the various scattered networks and soil related activities into a common framework, open to all institutions and stakeholders willing to actively contribute to sustainable soil management in Europe.

An ESP Implementation Plan for the period 2017-2020 was agreed by partners during the 4th ESP Plenary Meeting in May 2017 (see below), 

According to provisions of the GSP, a sub-regional soil partnership was established for Eurasia (EASP). The EASP operates autonomously and has established its specific EASP Implementation Plan. The EASP reports to the GSP Plenary meetings through ESP.

ESP First Plenary (21-22 May 2014, JRC Ispra, Italy)

As a first step the JRC convened a first plenary meeting of the ESP, 21-22 May 2014. The meeting was open to all interested stakeholders and institutions and set the foundations for the future activities of the ESP. This meeting was organized in combination to the 2014 EIONET NRC Soil meeting that provided an update on where soil fits within the work of the European Environment Agency. 

Find below the list of presentations of the ESP meeting on 21 and 22 May 2014, structured according to the proposed agenda, and the list of presentations in the EIONET NRC Soil Meeting of 23 May 2014. Also the minutes of EIONET meeting is included.

ESP Second Plenary (17-18 March 2015, FAO HQ, Rome, Italy)

ESP Third Plenary (8-9 March 2016, FAO HQ, Rome, Italy)

  • Agenda
  • Input document: "draft Terms of reference of the ESP (of 19 Feb 2016)"
  • Input document "draft ESP Implementation Plan (of 04 Feb 2016)"
  • Report of the meeting
  • ESP Terms of Reference (as included in the meeting report)
  • (07/09/2016)The ESP Steering Committee consists of:
    • the ESP chair (Elena Havlicek)
    • two ESP vice-chairs (Carmelo Dazzi, Hakki Erdogan)
    • representative of the ESP-secretariat (Marc Van Liedekerke/Arwyn Jones)
    • representative of the GSP-secretariat (Ronald Vargas/Rainer Baritz)
    • chairs of the ESP Pillar working groups (P1: Violette Geissen, P2: Arwyn Jones, P3: Coen Ritsema, P4: Allan Lilly, P5: Hakki Erdogan)
    • representative of the Eurasian Subregional Partnership (EASP) (Pavel Krasilnikov)
    • representative of ITPS (European members)(Luca Montanarella)

ESP Fourth Plenary (10-12 May 2017, FAO HQ, Rome, Italy)

The main objective of the meeting was the approval of the ESP 2017-2020 Implementation Plan and to define concrete ways and means to ensure its successful implementation at national and regional levels. 

Meeting presentations:

List of participants; a group picture.

Minutes of the meeting and the agreed Implementation Plan (08/06/2017):


ESP Fifth Plenary (20-21 March 2018, FAO HQ, Rome, Italy)

Details of the event | Report | Agenda | Presentations | Photogallery 


ESP Sixth Plenary (28-29 March 2019, FAO HQ, Rome, Italy)

(17/07/2019)  (Details of the event | Agenda | Report | Presentations | Photogallery) can be found here (under ESP Events)

ESP Partners

In these tables, you can find all ESP partners (focal points and other) as  retrieved from the GSP. (last updates: 6 September 2019)

Focal points have been nominated for all EU-countries (but Denmark, Ireland , Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta and Romania) + Albania, Montenegro, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Macedonia, Israel + the 13 countries of the sub-regional Eurasian Soil Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkey, Tukmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan), for a total of 40 countries.

Want to be informed?

If you are interested in being informed about the activities of the ESP, please let us know and we will add you to a mailing list that contains all partners and interested parties. Send a mail to

Want to become a partner?

If you/your organization would like to become an ESP partner/member, you should ask the GSP Secretariat ( to become a GSP Partner first; you could also follow this FAO link (see form) to become GSP member.

If accepted as GSP partner, you become automatically member of ESP.

ESP Working Groups

Working Groups for the five ESP Pillars work on the various activities outlined in the ESP Implementation Plan. After an initial invitation for contributing partners by the ESP Secretariat in June 2017, directed to all ESP partners, working groups have been formed. (last update 22 Aug 2019). If you are interested to participate in the work of one or more of these groups, please contact

ESP Steering Committee

The ESP Steering Committee is composed of members appointed at the ESP Plenary meeetings.(updated 16 September 2019)
In the spirit of openess and transparency, the ESP Steering Committee agreed to make the minutes of its meetings publicly available:
09/03/2017 - Minutes of the ESP-SC meeting at FOEN, Bern 2+3 February2017

06/07/2017 - Minutes of the ESP-SC meeting at the Swiss Permanent Representation to FAO, Rome 22 June 2017

21/02/2018 - Minutes of the ESP-SC meeting at DG ENV, Brussels, 31 January 2018
07/03/2019 - Minutes of the ESP-SC meeting at Wageningen (NL), 21+22 February 2019


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