The functional economy

15 Dec 2016
Adopted References: INT/784 EESC-2016-00975-00-00-AC-TRA Own-initiative Rapporteur: Mr Thierry Libaert (Various interests - GR III / France) Plenary Session: 521 - 14 Dec 2016 - 15 Dec 2016 OJ C 75, 10.3.2017, p. 1

EESC opinion: The functional economy

Key points:

The EESC calls for:

  • society to begin an economic transition from over-exploitation of resources and a throw-away culture to a more sustainable, job-rich era, based on quality rather than quantity;
  • a thorough assessment to be carried out of services or product types in order to identify the advantages and if necessary establish the conditions under which the functional economy should be rolled out to people's benefit;
  • stepping up the pace of research and achievements in new methods of production and consumption connected to the functional economy, such as product eco-design, the circular economy, the collaborative economy and the economy for the common good;
  • an EU legislative package to provide a structure for services delivered through the functional economy, particularly in terms of collaborative consumption, obsolescence, consumer understanding of these models, and a legal and pro-innovation tax;
  • the harnessing of regional assets, shifting away from the standardisation inherent in mass production – which is partly responsible for the disillusion with current consumption – and allowing for all production externalities;
  • a new cross-cutting and permanent body be set up in the EESC to analyse these developments. An exchange platform making functional economy initiatives more visible across the EU would be also useful.

 

Other relevant EESC opinions:

For more information please contact the INT Section Secretariat