Economia circular

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A transição para a economia circular ocupa um lugar cimeiro na ordem do dia do CESE enquanto solução para lutar contra a crise climática e proteger o planeta. Constitui ao mesmo tempo uma excelente oportunidade para a sociedade civil, pois pode contribuir para:

  • aumentar a competitividade da indústria europeia;
  • promover o crescimento económico sustentável;
  • criar novos postos de trabalho.

O modelo de produção e consumo linear, baseado no princípio «produz-utiliza-deita fora», que ainda domina a nossa economia não só resulta no desperdício de recursos como também prejudica a luta contra as alterações climáticas. Ao contrário da economia linear, a economia circular assenta numa conceção regenerativa e restauradora centrada na criação e retenção de valor económico, o que permite enfrentar os desafios ambientais a nível mundial, como as alterações climáticas, a perda de biodiversidade e a poluição, colhendo ao mesmo tempo benefícios económicos.

A boa notícia é que a transição para a economia circular já está em marcha no terreno. A nível local e regional, existem inúmeras iniciativas circulares concebidas e executadas pelas partes interessadas da sociedade civil, nomeadamente empresas, sindicatos, universidades e comunidades de conhecimento, organizações de juventude, ONG e outros grupos de interesses. A Europa tem a sua melhor oportunidade para acelerar a transição para a economia circular atuando como catalisador das soluções circulares das partes interessadas pertinentes e do seu papel de liderança neste processo.

Neste sentido, em 2017, o CESE e a Comissão Europeia criaram em conjunto a Plataforma Europeia das Partes Interessadas da Economia Circular, que visa reunir a comunidade da economia circular na Europa. Esta plataforma, dinamizada pelas partes interessadas, apoia a transição europeia para a economia circular promovendo o diálogo, partilhando conhecimentos e fazendo o intercâmbio de boas práticas entre os vários intervenientes.

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    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.

  • NAT Section thematic debate

    The NAT Section will hold a debate on "Circular Economy Strategies and Roadmaps: Cooperation and Inclusion" at its meeting of 23rd May.

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    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.

  • 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.

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    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.

  • Consumer Summit 2018
    Consumer Summit 2018

    As a follow-up to the Consumer Dialogues, "Les Assises des Consommateurs" (the 2018 Consumer Summit) showcased the results of this outreach and offered the opportunity for debate and conclusions.

  • EU Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy

    Action on plastics was identified as a priority in the 2015 Circular Economy Action Plan, to help European businesses and consumers to use resources in a more sustainable way. The hearing will look into the strategy on plastics in a circular economy (including action on marine litter) proposed by the EC in the context of both the Communication on A European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy (COM(2018) 28 final) and the proposal for a Directive on Port Reception Facilities (COM(2018) 33 final).

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    Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference

    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.

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    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.