Annual Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference, 3-4 November 2020

The fourth edition of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform annual conference took place on 3-4 November. This edition of the main event for the circular economy in Europe went fully digital!

Every year, the European circular economy community from businesses, public authorities, NGOs to knowledge communities and civil society organisations gathers to discuss the transition to a circular economy. The conference is the flagship event of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, a joint initiative of the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).

This page is updated regularly with detailed information about the conference. Stay tuned! Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest updates and sign up to our newsletter.

  • Day 1


    During the first day, hosted by the European Commission, participants familiarised with the new EU Circular Economy Action Plan and discussed its implementation. The potential of the circular economy for a green recovery was also covered in the sessions. Interaction and exchange with the panelists during the plenaries broadcasted from Commission’s Charlemagne building were on the programme as well as online contribution to the thematic online parallel sessions.

    On that day, Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries officially launched the #EUCircularTalks, a new feature of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, to exchange on the transition to a circular economy.

    09:30 | Opening

    An ambitious agenda for a green recovery: the Green Deal, the Circular Economy Action Plan, and the Europe we want Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, European Commission

    09:40 | Keynote speech

    Towards a sustainable and inclusive recovery: Unleashing the Circular Economy together Christa Schweng, President of the European Economic Social Committee

    09:50 | Plenary I

    Discover the new Action Plan: a common agenda to deliver on a circular and climate-neutral economy

    • Florika Fink Hooijer, Director- General, DG Environment, European Commission
    • Dr Christoph Epping, Deputy Director-General, Resource Conservation, Circular Economy, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
    • Jan Huitema, Rapporteur of the own-initiative report on the New Circular Economy Action Plan, European Parliament
    • Tjisse Stelpstra, Rapporteur on the opinion on the new Circular Economy Action Plan, European Committee of the Regions

    10:35 | Coffee Break

    11:05 | Plenary II

    Making Sustainable Products the norm

    • Kurt Vandenberghe, European Green Deal Adviser, President von der Leyen's Cabinet
    • Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President, The Club of Rome
    • Jocelyn Bleriot, Executive Lead Institutions, Governments & Cities, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
    • Dirk Vantyghem, Director-General, Euratex

    12:05 | Launch

    #EUCircularTalks with Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries

    • Kestutis Sadauskas, Director Circular Economy and Green Growth, DG Environment, European Commission
    • Ladeja Godina Košir, Chair of the Coordination Group, European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform

    12:35 | Lunch Break

    Lunchtime event: European Business Awards for the Environment

    14:00 | Parallel online sessions

    Please note that all recordings will be available soon.
    To retrieve the slides used by speakers, click their names inside the box.

      • Reliable Green Claims and consumer information: Keys to sustainable consumption
        This session explored how we can empower buyers through reliable green claims to make more sustainable choices in the transition to a circular economy.
      • Circular economy to #RevitaliseRetail
        Representatives of small, big, online and offline retailers discussed the role of the circular economy for the retail and wholesale sectors, in particular in the context of their recovery from the COVID crisis. The circular economy can help retailers and wholesalers build their resilience for the future.
        • Hubert Gambs, Deputy Director-General, DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission
        • Malin Nordin, Head of Circular Business Development, IKEA
        • Emmanuelle Mercier, Sustainability Policy Officer, La Redoute
        • Julia Riss, Head of Brussels Office, REWE

      • Education, learning and skills for the circular economy
        In this session experts and stakeholders developed on the need to increase circular economy knowledge, competences and skills from an early age and throughout life, in both private and public sector, through co-operation between different disciplines.
        • Michael Teutsch, Head of Unit Schools and Multilingualism, DG Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture - Youth, Education and Erasmus+, European Commission
        • Antonius Schröder, Project Coordinator Blueprint Steel, Blueprint SPIRE-SAIS
        • Angels Orduna, Partner Blueprint SPIRE-SAIS
        • Laurence Lamm, Senior advisor EIT Raw Materials; Partner Blueprint Steel/ALBATTS/SPIRE-SAIS
        • Anders Norberg, Project coordinator Blueprint ALBATTS
        • Dimitra Maleka, Education Programme Manager - Battery Storage EIT InnoEnergy
        • Ignacio Calleja, Coordinator EIT Circular Economy Initiative
        • Nani Pajunen, Leading specialist Carbon-neutral circular economy, Sitra
        • Alison Crabb, Head of Unit Skills and Qualifications, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission

      • Innovation and research: building a future-ready circular economy
        The top world scientists assessed the scale of natural resource challenge the humanity is facing and propose three interconnected long-term strategies based on dematerialisation, circularity and use of bio-based materials. This session also discussed the conditions that must be met for circular economy to deliver on its potential.
        • Petra Goyens, Deputy Head of Unit Head of Unit Circular Economy and Biobased Systems, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission
        • Pavel Misiga, Head of Unit Circular Economy and Biobased Systems, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission
        • Edgar Hertwich, International Chair in Industrial Ecology, NTNU and Professor at the Department of Energy and Process Engineering
        • Ester van der Voet, Associate Professor at the Department Industrial Ecology of the Institute of Environmental Sciences, Leiden University
        • Catia Bastioli, Chief Executive Officer, Novamont

      • Less waste, more value: focus on End of Waste criteria
        In the new Circular Economy Action Plan, the Commission commits to scope during 2020-2021 the development of possible further Union-wide end-of-waste (EoW) and by-product criteria (BP). This scoping exercise will help the Commission to make informed decisions on the need to adopt EU-wide EoW and/or BP criteria.
        • Jorge Diaz del Castillo, Legal Officer, Waste Management & Secondary Materials, DG Environment, European Commission
        • Silvija Aile, Deputy Head of Unit Waste Management & Secondary Materials, DG Environment, European Commission
        • Aurelio Braconi, Senior Manager Circular Economy and Raw Materials, Eurofer
        • Fazilet Cinaralp, Secretary General, ETRMA

      • Level(s): bringing buildings into the circular economy
        This parallel session introduced the audience with the Level(s) framework and how it contributes to the built environment in the context of the circular economy.
        • Emmanuelle Maire, Head of Unit Sustainable Production, Products and Consumption, DG Environment, European Commission
        • Josefina Lindblom, Policy Officer Sustainable Buildings, DG Environment, European Commission
        • Philippa Gill, Director - Europe, Evora Global
        • Roy Antink, Senior Vice President International Policy Coordination, Sustainability at Stora Enso
        • Kristina Einarsson, Expert Environment and Climate, Boverket Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning

      • Towards a Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency
        This session presented ongoing work towards the establishment of the ‘Global Alliance for Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency’ announced in the Circular Economy Action Plan. This session offered an opportunity to hear from EU international partners and stakeholders their views on how to support the circular economy transition globally and the possible role of the Alliance to this end.
        • Astrid Ladefoged, Head of Unit for Sustainable Development Goals, Green Finances & Economic Analysis, Directorate-General for Environment, European Commission
        • Astrid Schomaker, Director, Global Sustainable Development, Directorate-General for Environment, European Commission, Brussels
        • Steven Kuhn, Director-General, Multilateral Affairs and Climate Change, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Ottawa
        • Hazri Hassan, Director, International Policy, Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, Singapore
        • Kgauta Mokoena, Chief Director, Waste Management, Department of Environment Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), South Africa, Pretoria
        • Alex José Saer Saker, Director, Sectorial and Urban Environmental Affairs, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Colombia, Bogotá

    15:00 | Coffee Break

    15:30 | Plenary III

    Circular economy in challenging times: driving a green and future- ready recovery

    • Maria Teresa Fabregas, Director, Directorate for Recovery and Resilience II at Secretariat-General, European Commission
    • Marie-Claire Lhenry, Head of the European and international affairs unit, France Ministry of the Environment
    • Virgina Janssens, Managing Director, PlasticsEurope
    • Mikel Irujo Amezaga, Director for EU Affairs, Regional Goverment of Navarra

    16:30 | Closing

    Putting the environment at the centre of Europe's future: an opportunity to build back better - Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries

  • Day 2

    The second day, hosted by the EESC, focused on stakeholder views in a series of online workshops highlighting successes and identifying new challenges. Eight workshops covered circular themes ranging from construction to food waste to procurement and roadmapping.

    10:00 | Opening (webstreamed)

    • Jacki Davis, Moderator
    • Cillian Lohan, Vice-President of the European Economic and Social Committee
    • Ladeja Godina Košir, ECESP Coordination Group Chair

    10:30 - 12:45 | Parallel Workshops


    10:30 | Workshops I

    11:30 | Break



    11:45 | Workshops II


    12:45 | Closing
    • Jacki Davis, Moderator, wrapping up the workshops
    • Joanna Drake, Deputy-Director General, DG Environment
    • Ladeja Godina Košir, ECESP Coordination Group Chair
  • Networking Village
  • R&I: Funding opportunities for the circular economy

    Organised by the European Commission's DG Research and Innovation, the webinar "‘R&I: Funding opportunities for the circular economy" provided practical insights into current and future funding opportunities in the fields of research and innovation.


    14:30-14:35 | Opening of the event (John Bell –RTD.C Director)

    14:35-14:45 | The role of R&I in EU circular economy policy (Pavel Misiga -RTD)

    14:45-15:00 | Green Deal call in support of circular economy (Andrea Accorigi, Soren Bowadt -RTD)

    15:00-15:25 | Circular Economy in Horizon Europe programming (Hans-Christian Eberl, Annika Eskusson -RTD)

    15:25-15:45 | Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (Andrea Accorigi -RTD)

    15:45-15:55 | Break

    15:55-16:15 | Circular bio-based systems in Horizon Europe and Circular Bio-based Europe partnership (Tomasz Calikowski, Ruska Kelevska -RTD)

    16:15-16:30 | Financial instruments to support circular economy innovation (Shiva Dustdar European Investment Bank)

    16:30-16:45 | Circular Economy Finance Platform and expert group (Christian Schempp, European Investment Bank)

    16:45-17:00 | Success stories of Horizon 2020 (Keti Medarova -EASME, Agatha Pieniadz –REA, Virginia Puzzolo –BBI JU)

    17:00-17:20 | European Institute of Innovation & Technology - Knowledge and Innovation Communities’ contribution to circular economy (Ignacio Calleja, EIT KICs)

    17:20-17:30 | Discussion and closure of the event (Petra Goyens -RTD)

  • OECD report on the circular economy in cities and regions

    4 November 3:30-4:30, The OECD presented its synthesis report on The Circular Economy in Cities and Regions. The report builds on the findings from 51 cities and regions contributing to the OECD Survey on the Circular Economy in Cities and Regions and on lessons learnt from the OECD Policy Dialogues on the circular economy carried out in Groningen (NL), Umeå (SE), Valladolid (ES) and ongoing in Glasgow (UK), Granada (ES), and Ireland.

    For registration, click here.

  • The circular economy under the German Presidency

    FEAD, the European Federation for Waste Management and Environmental Services, represents the private waste and resource management industry across Europe.

    FEAD is organising a webinar - on 5 November 2020 at 10:00-11:30 - focussing on the on-going discussions under the German Presidency of the Council with regard to the new Circular Economy Action Plan and the key measures that are needed to ensure the full achievement of EU ambitions