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
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.