Following the publication of the new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) for a Cleaner and More Competitive Europe by the Commission on 11 March, the members of the Coordination Group (CG) have decided to share their views on the new CEAP, while also reflecting on the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world.
In these challenging times, the rules of our economy and our society are being rewritten: the importance of public health and wellbeing, the fragility of global supply chains, and the economic sectors upon which society depends have become more apparent than ever.
This is also a time when Europe’s governments are looking for inspiration for their recovery packages, and the CEAP should therefore provide a "greenprint" for a more resilient future. It offers guidelines to be taken into account while jointly laying the groundwork for the recovery of both our economy and our society. Only by understanding and embracing the limits of our planet and through robust governance can a thriving future for all emerge.
During a fruitful exchange of views, the CG members made the following key points:
- Europe is taking the lead by making circular products and services the norm.
- Measures to ensure an absolute decoupling and decreased material use are lacking.
- The focus should be on waste prevention (and not only on waste management).
- Supply and demand for secondary raw materials should be strengthened.
- EU targets can be engines for change.
- Sectoral approaches for impactful value chains are welcome.
- Linking the circular economy as a key enabler for climate change is an important step.
- The transition to a circular economy is strongly linked to the industrial and SME strategy.
- More emphasis should be put on the cultural dimension and education.
- The role of civil society and ECESP should be strengthened. The potential of ECESP as a moderator of debate between the EU institutions and civil society should also expanded.
Among their general considerations, the CG members feel that, while the new CEAP shows progress in many areas, its success will depend on its implementation in the EU Member States, and, more importantly, on appropriate and timely progress in sector-specific legislative changes or new strategies it identifies.
The statement concludes with specific in-depth comments on:
- a sustainable products policy framework
- key product value chains
- less waste, more value
- making circularity work for people, regions and cities
- cross-cutting actions
- leading efforts at global level, and
- monitoring progress.
Read the full statement here.