THE EUROPEAN COMMISSON (EC) this week announced its intention to withdraw its circular economy package, claiming instead that it will put forward new ‘more ambitious’ plans.
The announcement was made at the EC’s plenary session, at which first vice-president Frans Timmermans presented the EC’s planned 2015 work programme.
Timmermans said: “At the start of the new legislative cycle is it time to clear the decks so that time and energy can be invested in those proposals that will have the biggest impact on jobs and growth and which have a good prospect of being adopted in the near future.”
“We want to ensure that the circular economy is approached indeed in a circular way and not just half the circle,”
“[This] means we will withdraw the present proposals and come back with more ambitious proposals that will cover the whole of the circular economy. And will do this in 2015. We will not drag our feet with this.
“We want to do this quickly because we want the circular economy to be in pole position.”
Leading organisations across the environment and waste sectors have been quick to express regret at the plans, even writing to environment secretary Liz Truss to urge her to intervene if possible.
The chair of the Environmental Audit Committee Joan Walley wrote to EC president Juncker to highlight the wider concern resulting from the decision.
She said: “While I appreciate that the Commission is seeking to respond to member states’ calls for a priority focus on jobs and growth, it would be short-sighted to throw out measures that could deliver billion of euros in resource productivity gains in a dash to boost short term growth.”