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09/09/2015

The EESC has produced a large number of opinions during the 2010-2015 mandate on subjects relating to new production and consumption patterns. These include the opinions on built-in obsolescence, collaborative consumption and the circular economy. When it comes to the main pillars underpinning the new economic model for change, the theme of the functional economy, defined as the sale of use rather than of ownership, is the only issue not yet to have been addressed by the committee.

 

04/04/2016

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is currently preparing an own initiative opinion on "The impact of the conclusions of COP21 on European transport policy". A hearing was organized in order to gather relevant views on this issue and shape concrete proposals to inform the EESC's forthcoming opinion.

08/06/2016

The functional economy focuses on the use of a product rather than its ownership. Specifically, with the functional economy model, a company sells the right to use a product of which it maintains ownership. The famous example is Michelin, which no longer sells tires for fleets of company cars, but supplies "mobility services" consisting of repairing, retreading and in some cases exchanging tires. The economic outcome is that the company has an interest in making its products last as long as possible because the price is based on usage (in this case, the number of kilometres driven) and thus in reducing waste.

15/05/2017

The EESC is drawing up an opinion on the Commission's recent communication dedicated to waste to energy. This public hearing aimed at gathering stakeholders' views on this critical aspect of the waste management and the transition towards a circular economy.

07/05/2013

Many consumer products could have a longer service-life. However, particularly in the IT and household appliance sectors, some components seem to be designed to become obsolete so that the product becomes unusable after a certain period of time or rely on the use of specific consumable items. This has a number of damaging consequences: the cost to consumers of early replacement of the product or dependence to expensive consumable items, the overuse of natural resources and raw materials.

21/06/2013
From a common agricultural policy to a common food policy

After the horse meat scandal, mad cow disease, swine flu and E.Coli cases in cucumbers, the question remains: is food safety chimera or reality in Europe? On 21 June 2013, Vilnius brought together decision makers, experts, consumers and representatives from the food and agriculture sector to analyse the state of food-related issues and propose solutions to current problems.

28/09/2018

In the context of the UN 2030 Agenda, the European Economic and Social Committee will hold a public debate where we will explore how the EESC has worked towards implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in practice – both with civil society, and within the Committee itself.   

28/01/2016

The European Commission released in December 2015 the new version of the circular economy package. Its aim is to help the European economy move from linear to circular, more resource-efficient patterns, by ensuring that less resources are extracted from our natural environment and less waste is produced at the end of the product lifecycle. The package focuses on better design of products, improved waste management and recycling performance of EU Member States and the growth and job creation potential of the circular economy. It includes an Action Plan with a specific timeline up until 2017 on production aspects as well as a series of modifications to the waste legislation.

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