A more sustainable European economy implies reducing drastically our consumption of resources and the amount of waste we produce. Far from being an exclusively environmental concern, the transition to a circular, more resource-efficient economy is a business opportunity, leading to new markets and new jobs.
In late 2015, the European Commission published its Circular Economy Action Plan, along with a proposed review of the current waste legislation. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) supports an ambitious implementation of this Action Plan, which mentions in particular an in-depth consultation of stakeholders and civil society, including "social partners where changes may have important social implications". In previous opinions concerning the circular economy adopted in
December 2014 and April 2016, the EESC made the case for a European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, whose aim would be to facilitate civil society consultation, cooperation between national, regional and sectoral networks and the exchange of expertise, information and best practices.
With a view to taking stock of the Action Plan's implementation, looking at next steps and discussing the goals and practicalities of a European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, the EESC and the European Commission co-organised a conference which took place on 9-10 March in Brussels.