Resource efficiency and European Commission’s recent circular economy package was a key topic of discussion at the JBCE environment committee meeting on 19 September 2014. Committee chair Lars Brückner was honoured to welcome DG Environment’s Mr Hugo-Maria Schally, Head of Unit A1: Eco-Innovation and Circular Economy.
In his presentation Mr Schally placed the circular economy package in the context of both the new Commission taking office on 1 November and its political and policy priorities and the EU’s present environmental policies. He explained that the new Commission is expected to put an even stronger policy emphasis on re-industrialisation and competitiveness. However, Mr Schally also made clear that the EU’s 7th Environmental Action Plan and Sustainable Consumption and Production Policies, including the Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy (SCP/SIP) Action Plan, represent established work streams that will continue to inform and guide EU environmental policy, including policies on the circular economy and resource efficiency.
JBCE members then had the opportunity to engage in a constructive discussion on topics ranging from the waste policy element of the circular economy package to specific aspects of recycling and re-use and to the link between resource efficiency and eco-design. At the end of a very interesting and constructive discussion the JBCE environment committee assured Mr Schally of its interest in continuing and further deepening its dialogue with DG Environment’s Unit A1.