In March this year, the European Commission (EC) and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) launched a joint European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform. The 24 members forming the coordination group of the platform have now been selected and are preparing for their first meeting on 22 November.
The coordination group, which brings together civil society organisations, business and trade union representatives, think tanks and public bodies that have a stake in the circular economy, will guide the Platform's activities for the next three years.
The newly selected team covers a broad spectrum of organisations operating in 13 different EU countries as well as a few with a pan-European reach. They have been selected through an open call for expressions of interest which attracted no fewer than 192 applications. "Our transition from a linear towards a more circular economy is one of the key challenges facing Europe. This process must be truly inclusive and we are very happy with the diversity achieved by the selection process ", said Peter Schmidt Workers' Group member of the EESC's permanent task force on the circular economy.
Stakeholder engagement, however, will be encouraged far beyond the coordination group: "We have set up a virtual meeting place on our website to serve as an interaction and conversation space for all members of the Circular Economy community. The idea is to strengthen collective knowledge by learning from each other's good practices and sharing lessons learnt. This is essential for the Platform to produce the results we were asked to deliver by the stakeholders in the Member States.", said Bernd Dittmann Employers' Group member of the EESC's permanent task force on the circular economy.
The platform has been set up to facilitate stakeholder involvement in and accelerate the transition from a linear "take, make and waste" economic model to a circular economy in Europe. Its creation was announced in March at a two-day event hosted jointly by the EC and the EESC, which since then have been busy making it operational. Based on stakeholder input, the platform's tasks will be to:
- advance the circular economy in Member States, regional and local governments, civil society and businesses;
- strengthen cooperation among stakeholder networks to facilitate the exchange of good practice;
- contribute to identifying the social, economic and cultural barriers to the development of a circular economy in Europe.
"Essentially, we are talking about a networks of networks. We are not planning to re-invent the wheel, rather to bring together existing networks to boost circularity across countries, communities and sectors in Europe. Once a year we have the opportunity to get together in Brussels to establish what is important to the Circular Economy community, streamline synergies and share good practices." Said Cillian Lohan, Various Interests Group member of the EESC's permanent task force on the circular economy
The newly formed coordination group is to hold its first meeting in Brussels on 22 November, and the next major conference on the Circular Economy is scheduled for February next year.
The full list of the coordination group members is available here.
The European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform's virtual meeting place can be accessed here.
To learn more about the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform please visit.