Good agriculture soil management contributes to food security, climate change mitigation/adaptation and ecosystem services. Preserving and increasing fertility of soils, not least through their organic content and water retaining capacity, increases agricultural production. Soils and their carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus content are also important for climate change mitigation. A number of good soil management practices have been developed to deal with some of the challenges; however serious knowledge gaps exist, e.g. on the characteristics of soils in various regions of Europe, the factors influencing their fertility functions including their capacity to store carbon, depending on different climate and environment conditions. The European Union is committed to addressing climate change with ambitious targets. An integrated framework for soil research in Europe is required to overcome current fragmentation and unleash the potential of agricultural soils to contribute to climate change mitigation/adaptation, while preserving or increasing agricultural functions.