In March this year, the European Commission (EC) and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) launched a joint European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform. The 24 members forming the coordination group of the platform have now been selected and are preparing for their first meeting on 22 November.
The world is facing a climate emergency causing unprecedented economic, social and environmental challenges. Ambitious policy and action are necessary at all levels to accelerate a just transition to a sustainable future, while leaving no one behind. This is particularly relevant in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed the fragility of the current system.
As in previous years, the EESC was present at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF), from Tuesday, 16 July, to Thursday, 18 July 2019. The HLPF is the United Nations central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The NAT Section will hold a debate on "Circular Economy Strategies and Roadmaps: Cooperation and Inclusion" at its meeting of 23rd May.
The European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee will host the 2019 European Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference on March 6 and 7 in Brussels.
Day 1, to be hosted by the Europan Commission, will explore the action plan as a successful framework for the transition, while discussing policies to capitalise on the current global momentum. It will also widen the discussion to consider the circular economy as an enabler to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
Day 2 will be hosted by the EESC and is being prepared jointly with the Coordination Group members of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform. This day will feature eight different participatory workshops, whose purpose is to share successes and identify new challenges.
To address planned obsolescence, protect consumers and boost the transition to a circular economy, in 2013 the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) called for a total ban on products with built-in defects designed to prematurely end a product's life. It recommended that better information to consumers on the lifespan of products should be established. On the basis of this opinion – the first European text on this topic – the European Parliament voted in July 2017 on a resolution for
a longer lifetime for products: benefits for consumers and companies.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is approaching its third year in the march towards realizing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The High-level Political Forum session this year focused on the theme "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies". The European Economic and Social Committee was delighted to partner with several member states this year to co-host side events for knowledge exchange on important aspects that relate to the five environmental SDGs in focus at HLPF 2018.
As a follow-up to the Consumer Dialogues, "Les Assises des Consommateurs" (the 2018 Consumer Summit) showcased the results of this outreach and offered the opportunity for debate and conclusions.
Action on plastics was identified as a priority in the 2015 Circular Economy Action Plan, to help European businesses and consumers to use resources in a more sustainable way. The hearing will look into the strategy on plastics in a circular economy (including action on marine litter) proposed by the EC in the context of both the Communication on A European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy (COM(2018) 28 final) and the proposal for a Directive on Port Reception Facilities (COM(2018) 33 final).
The 2nd annual conference of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform took place on 20 and 21 February 2018. The first day was hosted by the Commission (DG GROW and DG ENV) in the Charlemagne building, the second day by the European Economic and Social Committee.