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Source: Council of the European Union 2

The Council today approved conclusions entitled “Making the Recovery Circular and Green” in response to the European Commission’s “Circular Economy Action Plan for a cleaner and more competitive Europe”.

The conclusions aim at providing comprehensive political guidance on the broad range of actions foreseen in the Action Plan. The conclusion aim to strike a balance between an ambitious approach and the need to consider a broad range of issues when implementing the various actions, including the different starting points of Member States.

The conclusions highlight the role of the circular economy in the recovery from COVID-19 and make a link to digitalisation, underlining its importance for achieving the full potential of the circular economy.

Background

On 11 March 2020, the Commission presented its Communication on “A new Circular Economy Action Plan For a cleaner and more competitive Europe”. The Action Plan is a key element of the European Green Deal and closely linked to the European Industrial Strategy.

The Action Plan sets out a comprehensive framework for actions aimed at accelerating the transition towards a “regenerative growth model” that will make a significant contribution to achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and to decoupling growth from resource use while ensuring the long term competitiveness of the EU and leaving no one behind.

The Circular Economy Action Plan envisages some 35 action points with a sustainable product policy framework as a key feature encompassing initiatives on design of products, production processes and on empowering consumers and public buyers. Focused initiatives will address key product value chains such as electronics and ICT, batteries, packaging, plastics, textiles, construction and buildings and food. Furthermore, a revision of waste legislation is foreseen. Stepping up action at international/global level is also an important component of the Action Plan.

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