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Siirtyminen kiertotalouteen on tärkeällä sijalla ETSK:n asialistalla, sillä se on yksi keino torjua ilmastokriisiä ja suojella maapalloa. Kierotalous tarjoaa kansalaisyhteiskunnan kannalta erinomaisen tilaisuuden, sillä se voi auttaa

  • parantamaan Euroopan teollisuuden kilpailukykyä
  • edistämään kestävää talouskasvua
  • luomaan uusia työpaikkoja.

Nykytaloudessa edelleen vallitseva lineaarinen tuotanto- ja kulutusmalli paitsi johtaa resurssien haaskaamiseen myös vesittää ilmastonmuutoksen torjuntaa. Toisin kuin lineaarinen talous kiertotalous on uusintava ja korjaava talousmalli, jossa keskitytään taloudellisen arvon luomiseen ja säilyttämiseen. Se tuottaa taloudellista hyötyä, mutta samalla sen avulla myös vastataan maailmanlaajuisiin ympäristöhaasteisiin, kuten ilmastonmuutokseen, biologisen monimuotoisuuden köyhtymiseen ja saastumiseen.

Hyvä uutinen on, että kentällä ollaan jo siirtymässä kiertotalouteen. Kansalaisyhteiskunnan sidosryhmät, kuten yritykset, ammattijärjestöt, tiedemaailma ja osaamisyhteisöt, nuorisojärjestöt sekä kansalaisjärjestöt ja muut eturyhmät, kehittävät ja toteuttavat parhaillaan monia kiertotalousaloitteita paikallis- ja aluetasolla. EU voi vauhdittaa kiertotalouteen siirtymistä parhaiten edistämällä asiaankuuluvien sidosryhmien kehittämiä kiertotalousratkaisuja ja tukemalla niiden johtavaa roolia asiassa.

ETSK ja Euroopan komissio perustivatkin vuonna 2017 yhdessä Euroopan kiertotalouden sidosryhmäfoorumin, joka kokoaa yhteen Euroopan kiertotalousyhteisön. Tämä sidosryhmävetoinen foorumi tukee Euroopan siirtymistä kiertotalouteen edistämällä vuoropuhelua, tiedon jakamista ja parhaiden käytäntöjen vaihtoa.

  • Debate

    The EESC is convinced that islands, mountainous regions and sparsely populated areas face significant challenges and that there is a solid legal basis that obliges the EU to take action in order to tackle these challenges. In this context, the organised civil society has an important role to play and through this debate, the aim is to find the best practices and solutions so that these regions can perform better and recover from the multiple crises. Therefore the EESC- ECO section has decided to organise this public debate in the framework of the EESC own-intiative opinion on "Main challenges that EU islands, mountain and sparsely populated areas face.

  • Insularity is considered to be a permanent and unchangeable geographical feature which involves additional costs (transport, energy, waste management, public services, necessity goods and services) that hamper the development and competitiveness of the islands, while particularly exposing them to biodiversity loss and climate change. The organised civil society has an important role to play and tackle all these challenges and through this debate. The aim is to find the best practices and solutions so that EU islands can preform better and recover from the multiple crises.

  • How can these regions become drivers for growth and development?

    The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) will be producing an own-initiative opinion on the main challenges faced by EU islands and mountainous and sparsely populated areas, which is scheduled for adoption at the EESC's September plenary session. In this context, the EESC, along with the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) and the North Sweden European Office (NSEO), will be holding a public hearing in Umeå (Sweden) on 4 May 2023 entitled "Challenges and opportunities that the digital and energy transitions present to the northern sparsely populated areas and islands. How can these regions become drivers for growth and development?". The hearing is an event under the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU.

  • An economically sustainable Europe

    With this debate, the ECO section is providing ex-ante input to the European Commission, in preparation for the upcoming 2023 strategic foresight cycle that wants to shed light on the strategic decisions needed to ensure a socially and economically sustainable Europe with a stronger role in the world in the coming decades.

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    Recovery, Open Strategic Autonomy and Resilience

    On 27 and 28 February 2023, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the European Commission will host the 2023 European Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference in hybrid mode. The sixth Conference will bring together Europe's biggest circular economy stakeholders to focus on the role of the circular economy in driving sustainable recoveryopen strategic autonomy and resilience.

  • This interactive conference with experts in circular economy competences and youth, policy-makers, academics and business representatives will explore the outputs from the CESCY project.

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    On 1 and 2 March 2022, this annual conference will bring together Europe's largest network of stakeholders in the Circular Economy. The focus this year is on the path to a new normal: "sustainable products for sustainable consumption."

  • Digitalisation and Sustainability: practical recommendations from European civil society | 25/11/2020
    NAT/SDO online conference organized jointly with the German Council Presidency

    The conference will explore the role of European Civil Society in using digitalization in a way that it enables and drives sustainability to support the European Green Deal and the EU sustainable recovery. 

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    The annual Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference, jointly organised by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee, is an opportunity for stakeholders to meet, nurture their networks, share ideas and learn about the new EU policy developments on circular economy. The 2020 edition will be digital with a focus on renewal as we emerge from the COVID pandemic. 


  • Joint side event by the EESC and the Government of Slovenia at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF)

    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.  ► Watch again