Between June 2021 and March 2022, the EESC held a series of events on the updated new industrial strategy. Each event was organised by a different section of the EESC and focused on a specific aspect of the strategy, with the aim of hearing the views of civil society organisations on the future of European industry.
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.
Following the publication of the European Commission's Update to the New Industrial Strategy, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has been carrying out a series of activities to fulfil its role of representing the views of organised civil society. A key event in this process has been a conference held on 17 June 2021, from 2.30 to 6 p.m., on Updated industrial strategy: towards a more resilient and strategically autonomous EU industry.
Following the publication of the European Commission's Update to the New Industrial Strategy, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has been carrying out a series of activities to fulfil its role of representing the views of organised civil society. A first event in this process has been a conference held on 17 June 2021, from 2.30 to 6 p.m., on Updated industrial strategy: towards a more resilient and strategically autonomous EU industry?
Position paper – May 2021
The European Commission has published a proposal for a new regulatory framework for batteries and waste batteries, aiming to establish minimum sustainability requirements for all batteries placed on the EU internal market. The EESC supports the proposed measures, however, it calls for more precise and workable governance instruments to implement the new regulation, with the involvement of all stakeholders.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Consultative Commission on Industrial Change (CCMI) believe that the present and future of critical raw materials resilience is of essential concern to EU's organised civil society. For this reason, and because the Commission's Action Plan represents a step forward by providing a clear roadmap with initiatives and actions to be taken at EU level, overall the EESC recommends that the European Parliament and the Council support this approach.
The European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform is a joint initiative by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), launched in March 2017. The two institutions are working closely together to promote the Platform as a space for the exchange of ideas and a growing body of information, and to make the circular economy happen faster to the benefit of all. At the EESC, the Platform is spearheaded by three Members: Anders Ladefoged (Group I: Employers), Maria Nikolopoulou (Group II: Workers) and Cillian Lohan (Group III: Diversity Europe).
The use of single-use plastics in packaging has grown significantly in the last decades, and with it, the pollution of our environment. There is an urgent need to improve the sustainability of our food systems, which includes also the development of more sustainable food packaging. The objective of this study is to identify and examine successful examples and approaches to food packaging in the EU and beyond, considering consumer safety, environmental, economic, social, legal and food waste reduction considerations.
The EESC Employers' Group strives for a business environment that contributes to sustainable development, while keeping the EU's economy resilient and resourceful in an ever-changing world. Our Political Priorities beyond 2020 explain how to achieve this goal by fostering EU values, strengthening the EU's economic foundation, bringing the EU to the digital forefront and seizing opportunities provided by proactive climate action.
The transition to the Circular Economy will impact businesses, workers and consumers in different ways/varying degrees across the economy. The Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector is crucial for this transition. In 2016, the consumer electronics sector alone produced 44.7 million tonnes of e-waste, with mobile phones accounting for 435 thousand tonnes, and a mere 20% being recycled. This study presents the opportunities and challenges arising from implementing a circular approach, using the mobile phone sector as an example.