EU circular economy package lacks crucial benchmarks

Written by Ulrike Lunacek on 2 February 2016 in Feature

Circular economy package lacks crucial elements, writes Ulrike Lunacek.

The EU has one of the highest resource consumption rates in the world and demand for these limited global resources is set to increase.

Given that Europe is most dependent on imports of natural resources, the EU economy is vulnerable to price increases and fluctuations.

Therefore, we urgently need to transition to a circular economy, to protect the environment, create jobs and make our economy more resilient and our businesses more competitive.


The new circular economy package lacks crucial benchmarks and weakens key legislative aspects. A glaring absence is the scrapping of a target to increase resource efficiency by 30 per cent by 2030.

Without effective and binding measures to reduce resource consumption, and without integration of resource consumption into the European semester, the package will not truly contribute to sustainable development.

Our economy needs to support prevention by smart designs, more reuse and more recycling - sustainable innovation, not more incineration.

The new proposal contains welcome elements on prevention, but weakens separate collection and recycling targets. And it wants to address incineration in the context of the energy union - clearly the wrong place.

It is a shame that the Commission failed to maximise the potential of the circular economy. We will seek to address these shortcomings in the European Parliament.


About the author

Ulrike Lunacek (Greens/EFA, AT) is a Vice-President of the European Parliament

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