On January 21, in Davos, the European Commission was awarded the 2019 Circular Economy prize by the World Economic Forum and the Forum of Young Global Leaders, as recognition of the work done to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy that protects the environment and reduces greenhouse gas emissions while delivering opportunities for jobs, growth and investment. Vice-President Katainenand Commissioner Vella received The Circulars prize offered in the category “Public Sector” on behalf of the Commission.
In 2015, the Commission established a unique comprehensive strategy, the Circular Economy Package, aiming to close the resource loop by introducing measures covering the whole lifecycle of products and materials – from production and consumption to management of waste and its re-use as secondary. The suggested measures also tackle climate change with energy savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and include the first-ever European Strategy for Plastics.
In 2015, as part of the Circular Economy Package, the European Commission adopted the Circular Economy Action. Some of the actions of the Circular Economy Action Plan include:
- Legislative proposals on waste, adopted by the Parliament and the Council in May 2018 and into force since July 2018;
- A revised Fertilisers Regulation
- The first ever European Strategy for Plastics in the Circular Economy, including a legislative proposal on single-use plastic items and a Circular Plastics Alliance
- A Monitoring Framework for the Circular Economy
- A European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform
- The Ecodesign Work Plan 2016-2019
- Guidance documents in the areas of – among others – industrial emissions, water management, recycling of construction & demolition waste, unfair commercial practices and Green Public Procurements.
The Commission has delivered more than 90% of the 54 planned actions and is currently reflecting on which steps are now needed to make Europe ever more sustainable. A circular economy is part of the modernisation and transformation needed for the EU to become the world’s first major economy to go climate neutral by 2050, as per the long-term strategy put forward by the Commission in November 2018.