The ECESP Annual Conference 2024: Circular Economy - from Visions to Actions

On 15 and 16 April 2024, the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference is happening in Brussels, with a twist!
The seventh edition of the most awaited Circular Economy conference in Europe will join forces with the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF), and  bring policymakers, industry leaders, academics and activists from all corners of the world to Brussels to turn circular visions into actions.
Online and on-site attendees can expect keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities to kick-start engaging discussions and inspire change. There will be a mix of policy-oriented sessions and stakeholders' dialogues, to highlight the key role of a legislative framework for a Circular Economy that is designed for a swift and effective implementation, at the core of which are civil society organisations.
The European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP), powered by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee, will showcase and discuss Europe's progress in the transition in dedicated EU-focused sessions.
On 17 April, the Belgian Presidency of the European Union will organise sessions and site visits to local circular businesses open to all. The agenda can be consulted here. In addition, accelerator sessions will be held by WCEF collaborators on 17 and 18 April in Brussels, online and around the globe.

On-site and online registration

You can still register for online participation. The virtual platform offers interactive add-ons such as networking opportunities, chats and polls for online participation.
The European Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference reached its seat quota at the WCEF2024. Sitra will inform participants on the waiting list when a spot is available.
Due to the expected great interest in the event, we reserve the right to limit the number of on-site registered participants per organisation to two.

Check our partners' programmes:

WCEF2024  EU BE Presidency

Below is the agenda of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference, with more information on the EU-focused sessions and on the WCEF plenaries (click on a title for more information).


  • Day 1 - 15 April - The Square, Brussels
    • Workshop - 09:30 – 10:45 - The ECESP: a success story

      The EU Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP) has been a successful initiative to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. Discover the challenges overcome and how the initiative successfully offers a wealth of best practices for policy makers, businesses, academia and civil society, and translates dialogue into cooperation. The aims, structure and deliverables of the platform will be illustrated by those who make it work: two EU institutions and 24 representatives of the ECESP's Coordination Group.

      Detailed programme will follow

    • Plenary session 1 - 11:00 – 12:00 - Turning circular visions into actions
      The science is clear: material overconsumption is driving the planetary crisis. At the same time many people don’t meet basic well-being thresholds. How can we build a future where well-being soars without accelerating material consumption and its impacts? In the opening plenary, a critical discussion with global policy and thought leaders will help us shape an actionable vision for the future role of governance, economics and society in building a just, circular future.

      Organisers: International Resource Panel, Circle Economy Foundation and Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund
    • PS4 - 13:30-14:30 - The circular economy we want for Europe 2024-2029

      Embark on a journey into the future as we take stock of the strides made in the European Union's commitment to the circular economy and reflect on where we go next. The session will offer a critical exploration of the role of the circular economy in tackling climate change and competitiveness in Europe. Together, we will identify gaps in the current policy framework, pinpointing areas that demand urgent EU action to propel the world towards a truly sustainable and resilient future. Don't miss this opportunity to engage with experts and stakeholders as we navigate the path to a circular and regenerative tomorrow.

      Organiser: European Commission's Directorate-General for Environment
      Detailed programme will follow

    • PS8 - 15:15-16:15 - A legislative framework for sustainable trade

      This session will unravel the transformative effects on Europe and third countries of key European circular economy regulations, such as the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation and its Digital Product Passport requirements, and explore how the EU is preparing to support this shift. Join the session to engage with experts as they analyse the challenges and opportunities for businesses and economies in this dynamic regulatory environment, and gain insights into the future of international trade of sustainable products.

      Organiser: European Commission's Directorate-General for Environment
      Detailed programme will follow

    • Plenary Session 2 - 16:45-17:45 - European and global perspectives on policy, investment and innovation
      With increasing global demand for natural resources, the transition to a circular economy requires predictable and coherent regional and global policies which trigger innovation and investment. What kinds of policies are needed next to manage the growing demand for natural resources, such as critical raw materials, and how do businesses see the regulatory changes ahead? Join a high-level discussion to hear more on the role of policy in enhancing the transition to a circular economy.

      Organisers: Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, with the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and European Commission's Directorate-General for Environment
  • Day 2 - 16 April - The Square, Brussels
    • Plenary Session 3 - 09:00-10:00 - Ensuring a peaceful transition
      There are both tensions and opportunities for peace and resilience in the transition to circular economies. Shifting to less extractive and less inter-dependent economic systems introduces geopolitical transition risks over the next 15 years. Simultaneously, circular economic design can be compatible with peacebuilding initiatives aiming for community resilience, socio-economic fabric reconstruction and dialogue support at micro-levels. What are the risks and opportunities that circular economic designers need to be aware of to navigate tensions?

      Organisers: Circle Economy Foundation and International Resource Panel, with Carnegie Europe
    • PS12 - 10:45-11:45 - How can circular business models cater for critical raw materials?

      To do more with what we have, economic and social actors must find the right balance to maximise the value of resources. In Europe, who reconciles circular business models and material governance, and what role do they play? Participants will get insights from entrepreneurs with upscaled solutions to close the loop and save critical raw materials.

      Organisers: European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, with EuRIC, Holland Circular Hotspot, Circular Flanders, RREUSE and European Remanufacturing Council
      Detailed programme will follow

    • PS16 - 13:15-14:15 - Effective and inclusive circular transition governance in cities and regions

      Local and regional authorities wield significant influence over circular systemic changes rooted in community initiatives. Therefore, a bottom-up strategy based on accelerated uptake, replication, scale-up, and monitoring of successful initiatives are key elements in achieving circular economy objectives at all levels of governance. In this session, participants will gain insights into concrete lessons learned on the ground, challenges related to public-private partnerships and network governance, the application and use of financial resources, and methods for monitoring circular transformation.

      Organisers: European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, with Holland Circular Hotspot, Circular Change, Circular Flanders, RREUSE, European Environment Agency, ACR+ and Interreg MED
      Detailed programme will follow

    • Plenary Session - 14:45-15:45 - Rethinking our futures

      We cannot build a future we cannot imagine. To succeed in these complex times and to drive the much-needed fundamental shifts, we need to challenge existing assumptions about the future and explore radically different futures. The audience is in for a treat as we get together to hear how futures thinking and foresight can add to our ability to drive change.
      The closing plenary will also reflect on the actions presented over the two days and end with a drum roll: which country will WCEF explore and learn from next.

      Organisers: Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund.