EU Circular Economy Package: Questioning the reasons for exiting
The European Commission's proposal to withdraw the circular economy package from its 2015 work plan has created a worrying atmosphere of uncertainty. The arguments for the withdrawal call into question the legitimacy, substance and democracy of the decision. In short, we call on the European Commission:
In addition, since the committee has not made any final formal decision on its work plan, nor has it clearly announced when it will do so, we will present the reasons for the withdrawal of the committee and our rebuttal below.
1. The circular economy package is not in line with the new employment and growth agenda.
Current waste proposals center on clear economic, social and environmental benefits. The impact assessment estimates that by 2030, 580,000 jobs will be created, the annual turnover of the EU's waste management and recycling sector will increase by 42 billion euros, waste management costs will be saved by 72 billion euros per year, and marine debris will be reduced by 27.5%. This will improve the competitiveness of the EU’s waste management and recycling sector and provide greater resource security by reinjecting secondary raw materials into the economy2. In addition, by strengthening the application of waste classification, 14.4 to 244 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions can be avoided by 2020, accounting for 19-31% of the EU's 2020 target.
These changes originate from the committee’s 2011 roadmap for raw material exchange and resource efficiency, which emphasizes that as the global demand for raw materials increases, greater efforts are needed to promote recycling, reuse and restoration to reduce the pressure on the demand for primary raw materials . Materials, and reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gases during extraction and processing.
Finally, as stated in the Committee’s previous analysis, the streamlining of existing legislation will increase the certainty of the law and make recycling legislation easier to implement, thereby reducing the regulatory and administrative burden on SMEs.
2. There will be "no foreseeable agreement" between the European Parliament and the European Council
The circular economy package fulfills the obligations agreed upon in the 7th Environmental Action Plan (EAP) adopted by the Council, Parliament and Committee in 2013. In the 7th EAP, the three agencies called for the full implementation of existing waste legislation. More efforts are needed to reduce waste generation and limit landfill and energy recovery to residual waste, while moving toward life-cycle driven The "circular" economy is moving forward, and the residual waste is close to zero.
The reaction of members of the European Parliament and member states against the withdrawal indicates that an agreement has been reached and that both institutions are eager to further work on the proposal. The threat of withdrawal caused a group of leading EU lawyers to say that “from a democratic perspective, it would be strange that an executive agency can deviate from the EU legislator’s 2013 policy goals so easily and so severely” and “clearly retreat. The emergence of proposals will run counter to the general legal principle of loyal cooperation."
3. EU law needs to be simplified
One of the stated goals of the proposal is to simplify waste legislation. The current proposal simplifies the definition, identifies one method instead of four methods, and combines several directives into one to avoid confusion and administrative burden. Therefore, any new circular economy proposal cannot stop the streamlining of the current package plan that has already started.
4. European citizens want change, as the election results show. Therefore, the EU needs to focus on important things: employment, growth and equity in our society.
The European election results do show hope that things will be different. However, there is no evidence that citizens want to cut environmental laws. The Eurobarometer 4165 poll conducted during the upcoming general elections in Europe (mid-2014) shows that 74% of Europeans believe that environmental protection can promote economic growth, and 56% believe that the EU is not doing enough to protect the environment. The latest Flash Eurobarometer 3886 released in June 2014 also emphasized that 86% of people believe that more efficient use of resources will have a positive impact on the quality of life, resulting in economic growth (80%) and their employment opportunities. Country (78%). Most of them believe that reducing waste and sorting recyclable waste at home (51%) and industry and construction (50%) will make the biggest difference.
Exiting the circular economy package from the current joint decision-making process is meaningless and constitutes a huge waste of resources for committees, councils, and parliaments.
Statement to support the maintenance of the current cycle package_January 22, 2015_Final version