Circular Economy

This page is also available in

The transition to a Circular Economy is high on the EESC agenda as a solution to fight the climate crisis and protect our planet. It is a great opportunity for civil society as it can help to:

  • increase the competitiveness of European industry;
  • promote sustainable economic growth;
  • generate new jobs.

The 'take-make-waste' model of production and consumption that still dominates our economy today is not only culminating in wasted resources, but also undermining the fight against climate change. Unlike the linear economy, a Circular Economy is a regenerative and restorative design that focuses on economic value creation and retention, tackling global environmental challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution while yielding economic benefits.

The good news is that the circular transition is already happening on the ground. Stakeholders from civil society including businesses, trade unions, academia and knowledge communities, youth organisations as well as NGOs and other interest groups are creating and implementing many circular initiatives at local and regional level. Catalysing circular solutions and leadership from relevant stakeholders is Europe's best opportunity to accelerate the transition to a Circular Economy. 

As such, the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, a joint initiative of the EESC and the European Commission, is a platform established in 2017 to bring together the Circular Economy community in Europe. The stakeholder-driven platform supports Europe's transition towards a Circular Economy by fostering dialogue, sharing knowledge and exchanging best practices.

Displaying 21 - 30 of 67

Pages

Opinion
Adopted on 27/04/2016
Reference: 
NAT/676-EESC-2016-00042-00-01-AC-TRA

The EESC fully backs the objective of switching to a greener, resource-efficient and circular economy. It is happy to see that the Commission has come forward with a broader set of proposals covering all the stages of the product lifecycle compared to the previous circular economy package; however, it raises concern over the lower level of ambition, which is likely to lead to lower economic and environmental benefits.

EESC opinion: Circular Economy Package

Opinion
Adopted on 11/12/2014
Reference: 
NAT/652-EESC-2014-05003-00-00-ac-tra
Plenary session: 
503 -
Dec 10, 2014 Nov 11, 2014

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.

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

Opinion
Adopted on 11/12/2014
Reference: 
NAT/651-EESC-2014-05002-00-00-ac-tra
Plenary session: 
503 -
Dec 10, 2014 Dec 11, 2014

The Committee welcomes the two communications and the package of amendments to the waste directives and supports the campaign to make all businesses and consumers aware of the need to phase out the current linear economic model of "take, make, consume and dispose" .

EESC opinion: Circular economy

Opinion
Adopted on 17/10/2013
Reference: 
CCMI/112-EESC-2013-1904

Planned obsolescence is associated with a form of industrial production that relies on a minimum renewal rate for its products. Although product renewal is necessary, certain abuses need to be addressed. The EESC would like to see a total ban on products with built-in defects designed to end the product's life.

Towards more sustainable consumption: industrial product lifetimes and restoring trust through consumer information

Downloads: 

Infopack CCMI/112

10/02/2021
News

An interview with Maria Nikolopoulou, member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) from the Workers' Group, representing the Spanish trade union Comisiones Obreras. She is currently one of the Vice Presidents of the NAT Bureau and member of the Steering Group of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform.

24/07/2020
News

The COVID-19 crisis has created the conditions for circular products and services to become the norm in Europe, says the EESC. In a recent opinion on the new EU Circular Economy Action Plan, the EESC urges lawmakers to ensure the circular economy finds a place and resources in the overall "greenprint" for Europe's recovery.

Pages