On the initiative of CG Members Arthur ten Wolde (Ecopreneur.eu), Jean-Pierre Schweitzer (European Environment Bureau) and CG Chair Ladeja Godina Košir (Circular Change), an ECESP Breakfast meeting was organized on 29 January 2020 to introduce the Platform to MEPs working on the circular economy. Co-hosted by MEPs Bas Eickhout (Greens), Simona Bonafè (S&D) and Franc Bogovič (EPP), the meeting started with a warm welcome for the Platform's contribution towards achieving a circular economy through active stakeholder involvement.
Several representatives of the Commission, the EESC and the Coordination Group shared their experience and explained how their cooperation has turned the Platform into a success. At the same time, they expressed their priorities and recommendations in view of the upcoming new Circular Economy Action Plan.
EESC Member Cillian Lohan introduced the Platform and underlined the important role of the Coordination Group, which helps to align top-down and bottom-up approaches in circular economy. Emmanuelle Maire (DG ENV) pointed out that the stakeholders are now much more aware of circular economy than a few years ago and that they are very interested in getting involved. The CG Chair and members described their individual contribution to the development of the Platform and made suggestions for future improvements.
A broad range of questions was discussed, with particular focus on the following topics:
- Upcoming new Circular Economy Action Plan as a complementary part of the Green Deal
- Ecodesign, including aspects connected to market surveillance
- Empowering consumers (avoiding greenwashing)
- Sustainable product policy
- Continued focus on waste, in particular reuse and preparation for reuse
- Non-toxic material cycles
- Just transition and employment
- Economic instruments, including green public procurement, taxation and fiscal policy
- Encouraging circular culture – societal dimension of change
- International perspective – collaboration beyond EU borders
- Roadmaps for circular transition.
Closing the debate, the MEPs expressed their appreciation for being introduced to the Platform and the fruitful exchange and confirmed that they would like to continue the dialogue with ECESP in the future.