Circular economy- Silver bullet for the EU's competitiveness and sustainability?

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Climate, Energy & Sustainability
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Circular economy- Silver bullet for the EU's competitiveness and sustainability?

Summary

Businesses need to be able to see the economic case for recovering and reusing materials in order for the circular economy to take off in Europe, Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice-President responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness said in a ‘Conversation with’ Friends of Europe on 25 January.

“We must enable businesses to see a profit if they move to the circular model of economy,” he said. “Market economy is the best friend of circular economy.”

The discussion focused on the latest Circular Economy Package released by the Commission in December, with the aim to make Europe into a global centre for sustainable and environmentally-friendly industries, reduce dependence on raw materials and create new jobs. The initiative will be supported by an array of EU financing tools, ranging from the Horizon2020 budget to structural and strategic investment funds.

Currently, much of the relevant regulation is done at national level, which gets in the way of circular economy business models, Katainen said. “One of our core interests is to harmonise national regulations on secondary raw materials in order to create a well-functioning single market.” Clean public procurement could also enable the use of more sustainable products.

Empowering consumers will be an important aspect of the transition. Shoppers are used to seeing energy efficiency labels on electrical goods. “Now we want to widen the scope from energy consumption to other areas of the circular economy,” Katainen said. “There should be labelling of how resource-efficient a product is.”

View tweets from the event using #ConversationWith.

Conversation with European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen

About

About

The debate will focus on the European Commission’s new Circular Economy Package and its implications for Europe’s competitiveness and sustainability.

  • What does the new package promise and how does it address Europe’s competitiveness and sustainability needs?
  • Will the proposed measures be enough to make a sound shift in business models and consumer behaviour?
  • What barriers are still blocking the scaling up of circular economy practices in Europe?
  • And what can Europe do to mainstream the circular economy across the world?

Follow the discussion on Twitter using #ConversationWith.

IMAGE CREDIT: CC / FLICKR – World Economic Forum

Schedule

Schedule

Registration of participants
Conversation with European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen
Expand Conversation with European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen

The debate will focus on the European Commission’s new Circular Economy Package and its implications for Europe’s competitiveness and sustainability.

  • What does the new package promise and how does it address Europe’s competitiveness and sustainability needs?
  • Will the proposed measures be enough to make a sound shift in business models and consumer behaviour?
  • What barriers are still blocking the scaling up of circular economy practices in Europe?
  • And what can Europe do to mainstream the circular economy across the world?

The event is part of Friends of Europe’s ‘Conversation with’ series that offers participants an opportunity to engage with EU Commissioners and key personalities while in the spotlight.

With

Jyrki Katainen

President of The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, former Finnish prime minister and former European Commission vice-president

Moderated by

Tamsin Rose

Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe

Speakers

Speakers

Photo of Jyrki Katainen
Jyrki Katainen

President of The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, former Finnish prime minister and former European Commission vice-president

Show more information on Jyrki Katainen

His main objective as Sitra President is to be able to generate new ideas to aid decision-makers in society and private companies, and to try and test new operating models. He has a special interest in transforming the market economy so that it complies with the principles of circular economy and sustainability.

Katainen’s career has been focused on analysing change in society, searching for solutions and making decisions. Before his appointment as President of Sitra, Katainen was European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness. Prior to that, he has held the positions of Prime Minister of Finland and Finance Minister. During his 15 years as a Member of the Finnish Parliament he was Chair of the Committee for the Future, among other appointments.

Photo of Tamsin Rose
Tamsin Rose

Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe

Show more information on Tamsin Rose

Tamsin Rose is Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe. Having studied international relations, she has 25 years of experience working across the European continent from Ireland to Mongolia. A natural communicator, Tamsin has been a radio reporter, worked on press for the EU Delegation in Moscow and is currently a member of the external speaker team for the European Commission Directorate General for Communication, describing how the EU works and key policies to visitor groups from around the world. Since 2002 she has specialised in public health and public participation issues, serving as Secretary General of the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), and providing strategic advice for health groups on how to engage successfully with the EU.

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