The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is approaching its third year in the march towards realizing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The High-level Political Forum session this year focused on the theme "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies". The European Economic and Social Committee was delighted to partner with several member states this year to co-host side events for knowledge exchange on important aspects that relate to the five environmental SDGs in focus at HLPF 2018.
To address planned obsolescence, protect consumers and boost the transition to a circular economy, in 2013 the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) called for a total ban on products with built-in defects designed to prematurely end a product's life. It recommended that better information to consumers on the lifespan of products should be established. On the basis of this opinion – the first European text on this topic – the European Parliament voted in July 2017 on a resolution for
a longer lifetime for products: benefits for consumers and companies.
The European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee will host the 2019 European Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference on March 6 and 7 in Brussels.
Day 1, to be hosted by the Europan Commission, will explore the action plan as a successful framework for the transition, while discussing policies to capitalise on the current global momentum. It will also widen the discussion to consider the circular economy as an enabler to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
Day 2 will be hosted by the EESC and is being prepared jointly with the Coordination Group members of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform. This day will feature eight different participatory workshops, whose purpose is to share successes and identify new challenges.
The NAT Section will hold a debate on "Circular Economy Strategies and Roadmaps: Cooperation and Inclusion" at its meeting of 23rd May.
The 2nd annual conference of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform took place on 20 and 21 February 2018. The first day was hosted by the Commission (DG GROW and DG ENV) in the Charlemagne building, the second day by the European Economic and Social Committee.
As in previous years, the EESC was present at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF), from Tuesday, 16 July, to Thursday, 18 July 2019. The HLPF is the United Nations central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.
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.
- The Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU: EU today and tomorrow;
- REFIT Platform: improving regulatory frameworks for economic growth;
- Dealing with a Dis-United Kingdom;
- Businesses and consumers will win from an inclusive circular economy;
- Artificial intelligence at the service of transport
The European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform was launched as a joint initiative by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in March 2017. The two institutions are working closely together to develop 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.