Opinion Factsheet  

Een EU-actieplan voor de circulaire economie

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Opinion Number: CDR 1415/2016
Rapporteur: WINTER Babette
Commission: ENVE
Status: Adopted
Date: 12/10/2016
 
Reinforce cooperation with the EU Institutions and key European associations of local and regional authorities in the field, whilst achieving a substantial uptake of the recommendations of the Committee of the Regions' opinion -
by the European Commission in its implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan, the Council conclusions, and in any potential future European Parliament Resolution
calls for ambitious legislative provisions, which should be accompanied by supporting measures and innovative approaches, for example Top-Runner, in order to promote the circular economy;
regrets that education and awareness-raising unfortunately do not feature in the action plan and calls on the European Commission to develop those aspects with the Member States, local and regional authorities and other partners;
stresses that a thorough revision of the ecodesign provisions is necessary and that the setting of product- and sector-specific ecodesign requirements should be examined;
calls on the European Commission and the Member States to tax the use of primary raw materials at a higher rate than the use of secondary raw materials, substances and components. The VAT Directive may need to be revised so as not to prevent differentiation in VAT rates to this end;
calls with a view to future changes to the EU legal framework that entered into force in 2016 for the mandatory consideration of GPP in public procurement procedures if they are above the threshold for an EU-wide call for tender, and for projects which are financed with public funds; GPP should be implemented as part of every EU funding programme and Directive 2014/24/EU be revised, so that sustainable, resource-efficient products and solutions are given preference, with mandatory justification if they are rejected;
stresses that littering and plastic leaching must be given consideration in the strategy on plastics in the circular economy announced for 2017, including setting clear targets; and believes that a comprehensive assessment of the construction industry is essential, because of the scale of this sector's waste and its increasingly complex composition, and the lack of common objectives, indicators and data.
The Opinion substantially increased the profile and inter-institutional visibility of the CoR in the field of circular economy, which represents one of the four key priority areas for the ENVE Commission. In particular, this included the ENVE Commission thematic priority *debate with Environment Commissioner Vella, EP rapporteur Bonafe, and the Netherlands' EU Presidency * held on 21 April 2016 on the subject; the participation of Mr Peltomäki, Deputy Director General DG GROW in the ENVE Commission; the participation of the rapporteur in an event at the EP in April 2016, hosted by MEP Dalli, Chair of the Circular Economy Subgroup of the EP Intergroup "Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development"; the ENVE commission study visit in June 2016 on circular economy to Copenhagen and Nordsjælland, Denmark, with participation of the rapporteur, and the moderation by the rapporteur of the EWRC workshop on 12 October 2016 "EU LIFE programme: A chance for green business, innovation and job creation preserving the environment", which included a session on the circular economy.

The European Commission Eco-design Working Plan 2016-2019, adopted on 30 November 2016. In line with the CoR opinion, it foresees that the European Commission during upcoming reviews of existing Eco-design and Energy Labelling implementing measures examine how aspects relevant to the circular economy, such as resource efficiency, reparability, recyclability and durability can be assessed and taken on board when revising the existing measures.

The CoR rapporteur held on 7 December 2016 a meeting with a Member of Cabinet of Vice-President Katainen, who coordinates the implementation of the European Commission Action Plan. At the meeting, it was successfully agreed that the European Commission will regularly attend the CoR ENVE Commission to report on progress on the European Commission Action Plan. The ENVE Commission conference "Waste legislation review - regions & cities for a circular economy" on 31 January 2017 will be an important first step in this regard.

Further impacts of the opinion remain to be seen once the European Commission adopts further individual initiatives as announced by the Action Plan, and on which the CoR opinions provides with specific recommendations.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS:

- calls for ambitious legislative provisions, which should be accompanied by supporting measures and innovative approaches, for example Top-Runner, in order to promote the circular economy;

- regrets that education and awareness-raising unfortunately do not feature in the action plan and calls on the European Commission to develop those aspects with the Member States, local and regional authorities and other partners;

- stresses that a thorough revision of the ecodesign provisions is necessary and that the setting of product- and sector-specific ecodesign requirements should be examined;

- calls on the European Commission and the Member States to tax the use of primary raw materials at a higher rate than the use of secondary raw materials, substances and components. The VAT Directive may need to be revised so as not to prevent differentiation in VAT rates to this end;

- calls with a view to future changes to the EU legal framework that entered into force in 2016 for the mandatory consideration of GPP in public procurement procedures if they are above the threshold for an EU-wide call for tender, and for projects which are financed with public funds; GPP should be implemented as part of every EU funding programme and Directive 2014/24/EU be revised, so that sustainable, resource-efficient products and solutions are given preference, with mandatory justification if they are rejected;

- stresses that littering and plastic leaching must be given consideration in the strategy on plastics in the circular economy announced for 2017, including setting clear targets; and believes that a comprehensive assessment of the construction industry is essential, because of the scale of this sector's waste and its increasingly complex composition, and the lack of common objectives, indicators and data.

Importance

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Final Circular Economy package

Three years after adoption, DG Environment announced that the Circular Economy Action Plan is fully completed, specifying that its 54 actions have been delivered , even if the work on some of them continues beyond 2019.

On 4 March 2019, the European Commission adopted a comprehensive report on the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan. The report presents the main achievements under the Action Plan and sketches out future challenges to shaping our economy and paving the way towards a climate-neutral, circular economy where pressure on natural and freshwater resources as well as ecosystems is minimised.

Materials available here:
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/circular-economy/index_en.htm

 
04 Mar
 

Event on Pharmaceuticals in the Environment

The CoR hosted an event on Pharmaceuticals in the Environment organised by the Intergroup "Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustai,able Development" of the European Parliament.
Ms Winter, (DE/PES), Rapporteur on "An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" intervened as speaker. The CoR opinion included the follwoing point:
58. notes that the topics of pharmaceuticals and nanomaterials as waste or discharges into the environment are not in the action plan and must be addressed swiftly as further priorities by means of corresponding strategies;.
A summary of the event is available in the link below.

 
29 Nov
 

Workshop "Municipal Waste Management and Prevention", 11th meeting of the CoR/EC Technical Platform for Cooperation on the Environment

Workshop co-organised with DG ENV on "Municipal Waste Management and Prevention", 11th meeting of the CoR/EC Technical Platform for Cooperation on the Environment. With participation of the rapporteur.

 
21 Nov
 

The rapporteur hosts and speaks at the ECN EU policy workshop 'Biowaste in the Circular Economy'

The rapporteur hosts and speaks at the ECN EU policy workshop 'Biowaste in the Circular Economy' at the CoR

 
06 Sep
 

Conference of the Network of the Environmental Protection Agencies on "Recommendations towards the EU Plastics Strategy"

The rapporteur speaks at the conference

 
08 Jun
 

CoR president speaks at the launch of the EU stakeholder's platform on circular economy

The European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee jointly lunched a stakeholders' platform on circular economy. This platform will aim at informing all stakeholders and gathering their input ahead of legislation formulation. CoR president spoke alongside European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen on innovation in the circular economy. Commissioner for Environment, European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans and MEP Simona Bonafé were also among the speakers.

 
09 Mar
 

European Commission Report on progress on the Circular Economy Action Plan and Communication on waste to energy

European Commission adopts report on progress on the Circular Economy Action Plan and Communication on waste to energy

 
25 Jan
 

Meeting with cabinet EC Vice President Katainen

Meeting of rapporteur with Mr Radziejewski, Member of cabinet of EC Vice-President Katainen, in charge of circular economy

 
07 Dec
 

European Commission Ecodesign Working Plan 2016-2019

European Commission adopts Ecodesign Working Plan 2016-2019
In line with the CoR opinion, the Working Plan foresees that the European Commission during upcoming reviews of existing Ecodesign and Energy Labelling implementing measures examines how aspects relevant to the circular economy, such as resource efficiency, reparability, recyclability and durability can be assessed and taken on board when revising the existing measures.

 
30 Nov
 

CoR hosts seminar "Implementing the circular economy at the local level: How to effectively engage citizens in the process?"

International Seminar "Implementing the circular economy at the local level: How to effectively engage citizens in the process?" hosted by the CoR, with opening speech by CoR ENVE Member Mr Roby Biwer

 
14 Nov
 

EUWRC WORKSHOP "EU LIFE programme: A chance for green business, innovation and job creation preserving the environment"

Moderation of rapporteur of the EWRC Workshop on "EU LIFE programme: A chance for green business, innovation and job creation preserving the environment", which included a session on the circular economy.

 
12 Oct
 

CoR Plenary Session

Adoption of CoR opinion on circular economy action plan – invitation of EC VP Katainen (tbc)

 
11 Oct
 

CoR PES group external meeting on circular economy

CoR PES group external meeting on circular economy, Umbria – with participation of the rapporteur

 
05 Sep
 

9th meeting of the ENVE Commisson

ENVE Commission
Adoption of CoR draft opinion on circular economy action plan – with the participation of Mr Peltomäki, Deputy Director General DG GROW, European Commission, and representative of Circular Friesland project.

 
30 Jun
 

European Parliament ENVI

ENVI Committee – deadline for submitting amendments to ENVI report on legislative proposals amending waste directives is the 30 June at midnight.

 
30 Jun
 

Workshop organised by COR Civex Commission and several other actors

Workshop evaluation on Solid Waste Management

 
21 Jun
 

Council Conclusions on Circular Economy Action Plan

ENV Council – Council Conclusions on Circular Economy Action Plan

 
20 Jun
 

ENVE commission study visit on circular economy

ENVE commission study visit on circular economy to Copenhagen and Nordsjælland, Denmark

 
09 Jun
 

Stakeholder consultation

Stakeholder consultation on the opinion "An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" by rapporteur Babette Winter

 
28 Apr
 

Rapporteur's activity

Participation in round-table meeting of FES Manager Kreis on circular economy, European Parliament, Brussels

 
21 Apr
 

ENVE Commission Thematic debate

Thematic debate on the ENVE priority policy theme with participation of Environment Commissioner Vella, EP rapporteur on waste review Simona Bonafè (IT/S&D), EU Dutch Presidency, the 2 CoR rapporteurs Mr Gambacorta and Ms Winter

 
21 Apr
 

European Commission

European Commission college - Orientation debate on the implementation of the eco-design framework

 
20 Apr
 

European Parliament - Participation of rapporteur in event "Circular Economy" at EP, hosted by MEP Miriam Dalli (MT/S&D), Chair of the Circular Economy Subgroup of the EP Intergroup

Participation of rapporteur in event "Circular Economy" at EP, hosted by MEP Miriam Dalli (MT/S&D), Chair of the Circular Economy Subgroup of the EP Intergroup on "Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development"; meetings of rapporteur with European Commission; CoR NAT rapporteur on food waste

 
07 Apr
 

Rapporteur Bilateral meetings with representatives of the European Commission

Bilateral meetings with representatives of the European Commission, DG ENV and DG GROW

 
07 Apr
 

European Commission

Orientation debate on the implementation of the eco-design framework

 
23 Mar
 

ENVI Committee – Progress report by EC VP Katainen on Circular Economy Action Plan

ENVI Committee – Progress report by EC VP Katainen on Circular Economy Action Plan

 
16 Mar
 

ENV Council

ENV Council – political orientation debate on Circular Economy Action Plan

 
04 Mar
 

COMPET Council –political orientation debate on Circular Economy Action Plan

COMPET Council –political orientation debate on Circular Economy Action Plan

 
29 Feb
 

NL EU Presidency conference

NL EU Presidency conference "Unwrapping the circular economy package", Rotterdam. Participation of ENVE secretariat

 
25 Jan