With the introduction of the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient (RE) Europe in 2011 and the more recent commitment of The Action Plan towards the Circular Economy in 2015, the European Commission (EC) has expressed its fundamental interest to substantially improve the resource efficiency of the European economy and enable the transition towards the Circular Economy (CE). This policy push has meanwhile been complemented by some quite ambitious national programmes for RE and CE and institutional advances but it is not yet bound to targets or mandatory reporting.
Against this background, the objective of this paper is to give a comprehensive overview of the EU's and a selection of MS's current policy framework and provide insights into these elements shaping policy processes. The analytical framework relies on three essential interconnected components: the policy framework, the economic incentive system, and economic side policies which are relevant in the context of RE and CE and actor constellations. The paper makes recommendations as to how EU and MS policies could improve RE in a coordinated way, but recognises that achieving such coordination will be challenging in the current political context.
The paper "Transition Towards a Resource Efficient Circular Economy in Europe" by Dr. Teresa Domenech (Senior Teaching Fellow in Sustainable Resources, University College London) and Bettina Bahn-Walkowiak (Research Unit Circular Economy, Wuppertal Institute) was published in the journal "Ecological Economics" and is available online.