On 17 and 18 January, the ECESP Coordination Group showcased Europe's pioneering work in the field of the circular economy at the Dubai Expo 2020.
Over one hundred participants attended the Circular Europe Days on-site, and more than two hundred online. In six sessions, representatives of the different ECESP Leadership groups presented what European companies and public authorities are doing to foster the transition to the circular economy.
Five national pavilions (The Netherlands, Slovenia, Finland, Poland and Ireland) hosted the events, offering participants the opportunity to discover the host country's gastronomy and network with participants worldwide.
On the first day, European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans delivered powerful opening remarks emphasising the importance of the transition to the circular economy on the European level: "We must find a way to prosper together. This is precisely what the European Green Deal is about. The transition to the circular economy is at the heart of the European Green Deal to reach climate neutrality by 2050." The Dutch Vice Minister for the Environment Roald Lapperre echoed this message by stressing the need for international platforms to reach the circular economy's goals.
A rich programme on the second day covered a broad spectrum of subjects ranging from circular cities and regions to circular electronics, to bioeconomy and taxation and circular procurement.
The two-day event closed on the Irish pavilion with a live online intervention from EESC Vice-President, Cillian Lohan, and the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius: "We want to ensure that our trade agreements support sustainability and prosperity worldwide."
In his closing remarks, Cillian Lohan highlighted the crucial role of civil society in the transition to a circular economy, noting that building networks, showcasing best practices, and spreading the knowledge are among the Platform's core competencies.
Led by ECESP Coordination Group Co-Chairs, Ladeja Godina Košir and Freek van Eijk, participants signed a joint statement reaffirming their objective at the Dubai Expo 2020 and their commitment to continue working together to harness the power of the circular economy for all stakeholders.