A joint initiative of the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee, this main annual event dedicated to circular economy in Europe, gathers decision makers, businesses, public authorities, NGOs, knowledge communities and civil society organisations to discuss how to advance the transition to circular economy in Europe.
Day 1, hosted by the Commission, will present the new Circular Economy Action Plan to stakeholders, and discuss its implementation. The Conference will also discuss the potential of the circular economy to drive a green recovery.
The sessions will cover a wide range of topics, including making sustainable products the norm, the role of consumers and tackling green claims, the international angle of circular economy, upcoming developments to ensure less waste and more value, the importance of research and innovation, the links with our skills agenda – to name just a few.
Opening the debate, Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal said:
Covid-19 has underlined the urgency of stopping the destruction of our natural environment and exposed the fragility of the current economic model. Circular economy is the model of the future, for Europe and the world. It brings balance back in our relationship with nature and reduces our vulnerability to disruptions in global, complex supply chains. With circular production and consumption we can create a healthy and resilient economy for decades to come.
Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries said:
The time has come to accelerate the green transition and bring the circular economy to the mainstream. Half of the greenhouse gas emissions and more than 90% of biodiversity loss and water stress come from resource extraction and processing. To respond to these challenges, we have adopted a new, most ambitious EU Circular Economy Action Plan. Its initiatives will help us build back better and create new business opportunities, to the benefit of our citizens and the environment.
As a new feature of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, #EUCircularTalks are a new way for stakeholders to exchange via online dialogues on different circular economy topics. The online dialogues are kick-started with virtual events, which can take different forms such as webinars, workshops, thematic fora and policy Q&A sessions. The #EUCircularTalks launch will be an opportunity for the stakeholder audience to engage in a “circular talk” with Commissioner Sinkevičius about the circular economy and the new Action Plan.
The event also features the European Business Awards for the Environment ceremony – EU scheme celebrating those businesses leading the transition to a sustainable economy. It recognises businesses in the categories of management, product & services; process; developing country Cooperation; and business & biodiversity.
As part of the European Green Deal, in March 2020 the Commission adopted the new Circular Economy Action Plan, aiming to reduce the EU's consumption footprint and double the EU's circular material use rate in the coming decade, while boosting economic growth. It announces initiatives for the entire life cycle of products, from design and manufacturing to consumption, repair, reuse, recycling, and bringing resources back into the economy.
The sectors relevant to the circular economy already employed around 3.5 million workers. The transition to circular economy has opened up new business opportunities, fostered new business models and developed new markets, domestically and outside the EU. In 2017, circular activities such as repair, reuse and recycling generated almost €128 billion in value added, and also accounted for around €15 billion worth of investments.
- Publication date
- Directorate-General for Environment