Sustainable Prosperity for Europe

Circular economy and smarter use of resources


Towards a circular economy - Reflections on the new package

8 December 2015


There is a strong environmental and economic rationale to be smarter with available resources, both within the European Union (EU) and with resources that are imported into the EU. Securing a competitive global advantage comes not just from the availability of resources, but also how those resources are used. One of the rationales for the removal of the original Circular Economy package under the first Work Programme of the Juncker Commission, in December 2014, had been that it had too strong a focus on waste and recycling targets, which is only one aspect of the full circular economy. A successful package ought to take into account all aspects of the transition to this new economic model, including the production and consumption phases, and a market for secondary raw materials.

This Policy Dialogue, chaired by Annika Hedberg, Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre (EPC) and with a keynote address from Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries,brought together policy makers and representatives from civil society and business to consider the European Commission’s new proposal and whether the package is now more ambitious and fit for purpose. Challenges and opportunities in the transition to a circular economy were discussed, as well as potential next steps.

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