A new Circular Economy Action Plan for a cleaner and more competitive Europe

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2020) 98
Publication Date 11/03/2020
Content Type


Communication published by the European Commission on 11 March 2020, setting out a new Circular Economy Action Plan.

Further information:

This Action Plan provides an agenda for achieving a cleaner and more competitive European Union (EU), in co-creation with economic actors, consumers, citizens and civil society organisations. It is seen as one of the main building blocks of the European Green Deal, aiming to accelerate the transformational change required by that roadmap while building on circular economy actions implemented since the adoption of the 2015 Action Plan for the Circular Economy.

The plan aims to ensure that the regulatory framework is streamlined and made fit for a sustainable future, that the opportunities from the transition are maximised, while minimising burdens on people and businesses. It presents a set of interrelated initiatives to establish a coherent product policy framework - making sustainable products, services and business models the norm and transforming consumption patterns so that no waste is produced in the first place. This product policy framework is to be progressively rolled out, while key product value chains are to be addressed as a matter of priority.

At the same time, the EU is to continue to lead the way to a circular economy at the global level and use its influence, expertise and financial resources to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This plan aims also at ensuring that the circular economy works for people, regions and cities, fully contributes to climate neutrality and harnesses the potential of research, innovation and digitalisation.

In response to this Communication, a set of conclusions named Making the Recovery Circular and Green was adopted by the Council of the European Union at a meeting on 17 December 2020. The European Parliament's relevant committee adopted a report regarding this Action Plan on 27 January 2021.

Source Link https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=COM:2020:98:FIN
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Commentary and Analysis
Politico, 11/03/2020: Throwing away the throwaway society https://www.politico.eu/article/throwing-away-throwaway-society/
EPRS: At a Glance, February 2021: New circular economy action plan https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_ATA(2021)679066

Politico, 10/03/2020: Brussels’ tech trash troubles https://www.politico.eu/article/brussels-tech-trash-troubles-circular-economy/
The Guardian, 11/03/2020: EU plans 'right to repair' rules for phones and tablets https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/11/eu-brings-in-right-to-repair-rules-for-phones-and-tablets
EurActiv, 11/03/2020: EU unveils circular economy plan 2.0, drawing mixed reactions https://www.euractiv.com/section/circular-economy/news/eu-unveils-circular-economy-plan-2-0-drawing-mixed-reactions/
Forbes, 11/03/2020: EU Citizens Get ‘Right To Repair’ https://www.forbes.com/sites/davekeating/2020/03/11/eu-citizens-to-get-right-to-repair/#248350cf5697
Deutsche Welle, 11/03/2020: EU Commission aims to clamp down on waste with new law https://p.dw.com/p/3ZD5Y

European Commission: DG Environment: Website for the 'New Circular Economy Action Plan' https://ec.europa.eu/environment/circular-economy/index_en.htm
EUR-Lex: SWD(2020)100: Staff Working Document 'Leading the way to a global circular economy: state of play and outlook' https://ec.europa.eu/environment/circular-economy/pdf/leading_way_global_circular_economy.pdf
European Commission: Press Release, 11/03/2020: Changing how we produce and consume: New Circular Economy Action Plan shows the way to a climate-neutral, competitive economy of empowered consumers https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_420
European Commission: Questions and Answers: A New Circular Economy Action Plan for a Cleaner and More Competitive Europe (11 March 2020) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_20_419
European Commission: Press statement by Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius on the new Circular Economy Action Plan (11 March 2020) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/speech_20_446
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 17/12/2020: Council approves conclusions on making the recovery circular and green https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/12/17/council-approves-conclusions-on-making-the-recovery-circular-and-green/
European Parliament: Press Release, 27/01/2021: MEPs call for binding 2030 targets for materials use and consumption footprint https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20210122IPR96214/

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