Annual Conference 2023: Recovery, Open Strategic Autonomy and Resilience

On 27 and 28 February 2023, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the European Commission will host the 2023 European Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference in hybrid mode. The sixth Conference will bring together Europe's biggest circular economy stakeholders to focus on the role of the circular economy in driving sustainable recovery, open strategic autonomy and resilience. The two-day event will be an opportunity to present the circular economy as a key factor in building resource independence and resilience while ensuring that policy objectives are linked to sustainable consumption and production.

Circular economy principles allow for sustainable development by decoupling economic growth from resource use and environmental impact. The principles of ‘do no harm’ and ‘build back better’ couldn’t be more in line with the circular economy, which contributes to economic and social resilience as well as to the green and digital transition. EU initiatives on circularity, ecodesign and waste prevention will also bolster efforts to achieve the zero pollution, biodiversity protection and restoration, and climate goals.

The European Commission will host Day 1 of the Conference (27 February 2023). The event will include a focus on the main issues at the heart of the negotiations taking place in 2023 and look back at the initiatives adopted in 2022 by the Commission. The plenaries will present innovative regulations and initiatives, showcase best practices of EU-funded projects and schemes and explore future developments in circular economy policies in the EU. To conclude the European Year of Youth, a youth representative will provide a perspective from a different generational angle.
The afternoon's technical parallel sessions will discuss the transition to safe-and-sustainable chemicals, the European automotive industry driving towards circularity and the environmental and social impacts of global textiles value chains. You will be able to follow the plenary sessions and parallel sessions, broadcast live from the Commission’s Charlemagne building in Brussels (with speakers and moderators on stage).

The EESC will host Day 2 of the Conference (28 February 2023). The event will focus on stakeholders' views in a series of sessions and two interactive workshops. The sessions and workshops will be grouped under two main topics: Biodiversity and climate and Resilience for Europe.

Day 2 also hosts our Networking Village, online and onsite. The Networking Village is an exhibition space where a selection of Circular Economy stakeholders can highlight their good practices and pitch their projects to a broad audience. So, if you have a circular project you want to share and test with peers, reply to the call for expressions of interest and we will get back to you if you are shortlisted.

Registration in person or online is now open.

  • Day 1 - 27 February - European Commission - Charlemagne

    08:30-09:30 - Registration and welcome coffee

    09:30-10:15 - Keynotes Speeches

    • Frans Timmermans, EVP European Commission
    • Christa Schweng, President of the EESC
    • Romina Pourmokhtari, Swedish Minister for Environment

    10:15-11:15 - Plenary - 2023: A key year for the circular economy to foster resource efficiency

    • Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director General of Directorate General for Environment
    • Alessandra Moretti, ENVI Committee, Member of European Parliament
    • Member of Council (tbc)
    • Agata Meysner, Director Generation Climate Europe

    11:15-11:45 - Break

    11:45-12:45 - Plenary - The circular economy at the heart of EU recovery

    • Giulio Federico, Head of Unit RECOVER Environment, Energy, Sustainable Transport, Competition
    • Pavel Zednicek, Executive and Chief Financial Officer, INCIEN, Czechia
    • Nicole Kronenberg, Deputy Head of Unit for Circular Economy, Ministry for Environment, Conservation and Transport of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany (
    • Tuuli Myllymaa, Coordinator of CircWaste, Finland (tbc)

    12:45-13:00 - Keynote speech

    • Hans Bruyninckx, Director EEA

    13:00-14:00 - Lunch break

    14:00-15:20 - Breakout sessions

    • “The transition to safe-and-sustainable chemicals”
    • “The European automotive industry driving towards circularity”
    • “Greening global textiles value chains” 

    15:20-15:50 - Break

    15:50-16:50 - Plenary - “The circular economy’s role in taking forward the European Green Deal’s ambitions and fostering resource independence”

    • Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea, Director, Directorate for Circular Economy, European Commission
    • Joss Bleriot, Executive Lead, Institutions, Governments and Cities, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
    • Petri Salminen, President SMEUnited (tbc)
    • Federica Marchionni, CEO Global Fashion Agenda
    • Philipp Horn, Head of Division of Circular Economy, EIB

    16:50-17:05 - Closing speech - “Recovering from global shocks through the circular economy - what to expect from the transition”

    • Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, European Commission

    17:05-17:15 - “The ECESP - a hub to navigate barriers to and opportunities of the circular economy”

    • Freek van Eijk, Chair of ECESP Coordination Group

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