European Commission to set up a Stakeholders Platform on Circular Economy

The European Commission adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Package on 2 December 2015. The Package consists of an EU Action Plan with measures covering the whole product life cycle: from design, sourcing, production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials.

To showcase the key deliverables achieved so far and to debate future deliverables with stakeholders, the Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee (EECS) organised a Circular Economy Conference on 9-10 March 2017.  On this occasion the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform was announced. The initiative is expected to be undertaken by the European Economic and Social Committee (EECS) in partnership with the Directorate General for the Environment (DG ENV) of the European Commission.

In the last day of the Circular Economy Conference, nearly 300 participants of interactive workshops identified priorities where the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform should focus on. The preliminary collection of data listed 10 areas:

1.    Exchange open, transparent and independent information, best and bad practices (fiscal incentives, guidelines), links with existing platforms (knowledge).
2.    Raise awareness, foster public acceptance among end-users and consumers
3.    Manage the transitional economy in relation to jobs and skills
4.    Stimulate new sustainable business models (SMEs) and innovation (via ecodesign, industrial symbiosis, new synergies), provide guidance for businesses and workers
5.    Act as a consultation forum, provide recommendation policy makers (design for recycling, green public procurement, tax shift, VAT) also in countries where the concept is not well developed)
6.    Help to clarify the definitions of circular economy, provide a common vocabulary, training and education options
7.    Create more effective incentives to make the transition towards the circular economy (taxation, consumer policy)
8.    Provide assessment and help develop metrics of circularity and environmental impact
9.    Tap into circular cities, the role of municipalities and B2B waste market
10.  Provide networking possibilities

The Commission announced that the next step setting the new platform will be a public Call for Experts. The new platform will be formally structured and start working still this year.

Source: website of the European Commission on Circular Economy and website of the Forest Based Sector Techonology Platform

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