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Public consultation on the functioning of Waste Markets in the European Union

Policy field(s)


Environment, waste management

Target group(s)


Stakeholders and experts on waste management

Period of consultation


                        From 12/06/2015 to 04/09/2015

Objective of the consultation


In January 2015, the Commission launched a study to examine obstacles and regulatory failures affecting the functioning of waste markets in the European Union (Tender ENV.A.2/ETU/2014/26, The efficient functioning of waste markets in the European Union - legislative and policy options).
The EU's waste management industry has a high potential for growth and job creation. In order to fulfil such potential and facilitate the transition towards a more Circular Economy, it is important to deepen our understanding of EU waste markets, focussing in particular on possible regulatory failures.
According to existing rules, waste to be prepared for re-use, recycled or subject to other recovery activities should move freely within the EU, without any unjustified restrictions. In line with Article 12 of the Waste Shipment Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on shipments of waste, OJ L 190, 12.7.2006, p.1), only certain specific reasons may be used to restrict the free movement of waste for recycling and recovery (e.g. that the person shipping the waste has previously been convicted of illegal shipments).
In some cases, however, the regulatory environment may hamper the efficient functioning of waste markets and fail to ensure optimal implementation of the waste hierarchy (according to Article 4(1) of the EU waste framework directive, the following waste hierarchy shall apply as a priority order: prevention; preparing for re-use; recycling; other recovery, e.g. energy recovery; and disposal).
Such regulatory failures may result from policy and legislative actions taken at EU, national, regional or local levels. Some may arise in connection with the application and interpretation of EU legal requirements (e.g. the Waste Framework Directive (Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on waste, OJ L 312, 22.11.2008, p.3) or the Waste Shipment Regulation); others may be the result of national, regional or local rules and requirements which are not directly linked to EU legislation. Within the context of this consultation both types of regulatory failures are considered (see parts B and C of the questionnaire).
The goal of this consultation is to obtain a better understanding of the nature and the extent of regulatory failures causing undue distortions to EU waste markets for recycling and recovery.
The information gathered will contribute to the finalisation of the above-mentioned study and will be taken into consideration in preparation of the new initiative on the 'Circular Economy'.
Please note that a broader public consultation on Circular Economy was launched on 28 May.

How to submit your contribution


In the interests of transparency, the Commission asks organisations who wish to submit comments in the context of public consultations to provide the Commission and the public at large with information about whom and what they represent by registering in the Transparency Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct. If an organisation decides not to provide this information, it is the Commission's stated policy to list the contribution as part of the individual contributions (Consultation Standards, see COM (2002) 704, and Communication on ETI Follow-up, see COM (2007) 127 of 21/03/2007).
If your organisation is not registered, you have the opportunity to Register now.
Received contributions will be published on the Internet. It is important to read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation and the information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

View the questionnaire

Contact details


responsible service

European Commission DG Environment Unit A.2 Waste management and recycling




postal address

EUROPEAN COMMISSION - DG Environment, Head of Unit A.2, 1049 Brussels

View the contributions


In the interests of transparency, organisations have been invited to provide the public with relevant information about themselves by registering in the Transparency Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct. If the organisation is not registered, the submission is published separately from the registered organisations.

Protection of personal data

Specific privacy statement