Circulaire economie

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De overgang naar een circulaire economie staat hoog op de agenda van het EESC om de klimaatcrisis te bestrijden en onze planeet te beschermen. De circulaire economie is een geweldige kans voor het maatschappelijk middenveld, aangezien zij kan helpen om:

  • de concurrentiekracht van de Europese industrie te vergroten;
  • duurzame economische groei te stimuleren;
  • nieuwe banen te creëren.

Het lineaire productie- en consumptiemodel dat nog altijd de toon aangeeft in onze economie leidt niet alleen tot verspilling van hulpbronnen, maar ondermijnt ook de strijd tegen de klimaatverandering. In tegenstelling tot de lineaire economie is een circulaire economie regeneratief en herstelgericht en heeft zij als doel om economische waarde te creëren en te behouden, mondiale milieu-uitdagingen zoals klimaatverandering, verlies aan biodiversiteit en vervuiling aan te pakken, en tegelijkertijd voor economische voordelen te zorgen.

Het goede nieuws is dat de circulaire transitie in de praktijk al een feit is. Op lokaal en regionaal niveau worden tal van circulaire initiatieven opgezet en uitgevoerd door belanghebbenden uit het maatschappelijk middenveld, waaronder bedrijven, vakbonden, de academische wereld en kennisgemeenschappen, jongerenorganisaties, ngo’s en andere belangengroepen. Vaart zetten achter circulaire oplossingen en leiderschap van relevante belanghebbenden bieden Europa de beste kans om de overgang naar een circulaire economie te versnellen.

Het Europees stakeholdersplatform voor de circulaire economie, een gezamenlijk initiatief van het EESC en de Europese Commissie, is in 2017 dan ook opgericht als trefpunt voor de gemeenschap van de circulaire economie in Europa. Dit door belanghebbenden gestuurde platform ondersteunt de transitie van Europa naar een circulaire economie door een dialoog te bevorderen en kennis en goede praktijken uit te wisselen.

  • 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