Europe asks for ideas to develop the region's circular economy

by Search Gate staff. Published Thu 28 May 2015 11:57
Project looks to support Europe's green economy
Project looks to support Europe's green economy

European policy-makers have launched a public consultation to collect views on the main options for developing an ambitious new approach on the Circular Economy.

Stakeholders' input will help feed the preparation of a new European Commission action plan, to be presented by the end of 2015.

The new proposals are being prepared by a project team led by First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for Better Regulation, Interinstitutional Relations, Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.

First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: "Europe's future economic development must be part of a sustainable development. There is no alternative to using our resources more intelligently, designing our products with a view to their re-use and recycling, and setting ambitious targets for waste reduction and recycling.

“Today we are asking people across Europe for their input on how to design our policies in a way that stimulates a competitive green economy in Europe and protects the environment for future generations."

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said: "Moving towards a more sustainable circular economy can create win-win solutions and provide Europe with a new competitive advantage. We want to put forward a comprehensive action plan with incentives for both consumers and businesses to use resources more efficiently. For this we need input from stakeholders in all parts of the value chains."

The policy options for developing a competitive Circular Economy in Europe will look at waste policy and beyond and address the full product lifecycle, taking into account the situation in all Member States.

It will include actions on intelligent product design, reuse and repair of products, recycling, sustainable consumption, waste policy, recycling levels, smart use of raw materials, stronger markets for secondary raw materials and specific sectorial measures.

Moving towards a more circular economy can promote competitiveness and innovation by stimulating new business models and technologies as well as facilitating social innovation. This will make the European economy more sustainable and competitive in the long run.

The EU says it wants to set the conditions for the creation of more jobs without using and wasting the amount of resources we do today. This will contribute to a stronger and fairer Europe and decrease pressures on the supply of raw materials and the environment.

Citizens, public authorities, businesses and all other interested governmental and non-governmental parties are invited to answer questions on the various parts of the economic cycle and their role in the transition to a circular economy. A separate public consultation on waste market distortions is already ongoing and open to all interested stakeholders.

On 25 June 2015 the Commission will host a stakeholders' conference in Brussels that will feed into the consultation process. The conference is open to all stakeholders interested in helping shape European policy in this area.

The consultation will run until 20 August 2015.

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