The circular economy: job creation and the Green Action Plan for SMEs

11 Dec 2014
Adopted References: NAT/652 EESC-2014-05003-00-00-ac-tra Referral - Rapporteur: Antonello PEZZINI (Employers - GR I / Italy) Plenary Session: 503 - 10 Dec 2014 - 11 Nov 2014 (Summary Plenary Session) OJ C 230, 14.7.2015, p. 99–106
Opinion on the Communication from the Commission "Green Action Plan for SMEs: Enabling SMEs to turn environmental challenges into business opportunities" and on the Communication from the Commission "Green Employment Initiative: Tapping into the job creation potential of the green economy"

EESC opinion: The circular economy: job creation and the Green Action Plan for SMEs

Key points

  • The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) believes that the prospect of a European circular economy should bring a major boost to the systemic competitiveness of the EU, a driver for growth and a generator of new green jobs and skills, providing it is based on a shared European strategic vision with active participation from the world of work, governments, employers and employees, consumers and legislative and regulatory authorities at various levels.
  • The Committee calls for the launch of a major participatory foresight initiative at European level, with a view to moulding a common vision among all public and private players, in order to pave the way for a consensus-based transition to a circular economy with coherent and effective policies and instruments at EU, national and regional levels, and in order to give concrete impetus to the green innovation agenda.
  • The EESC considers it essential to set up a structured dialogue with individual sectors within which to launch pilot schemes. Moreover the EESC suggests picking out a significant number of well-defined areas for facilitated innovation – smart cities, free port areas, local clusters, green deal – in which to trial the transition to a circular economy.