The European Commission’s decision to ditch the Circular Economy package of waste, recycling and incineration laws, was confirmed, despite the objections of the EU Parliament and national environment ministers. Legal procedures to officially dump the legislation should be completed in the next couple of months, the Commission told EurActiv.
The final decision has been taken and nothing could be foreseen that would change the executive’s mind at this stage, EU sources said.
According to a report published by the European Commission’s DG Environment, effective environmental policy can promote economic growth and create new jobs. Through a number of case studies and statistics, the report concludes that investing in Europe’s environment makes good economic sense.
The European Commission has published a list of 20 raw materials that are critical to Europe’s economy, including gallium, indium and heavy rare earth elements. The list will help set the priorities for mining and recycling activities, support trade agreements and promote research and innovation. Companies dealing with these raw materials will also find the information useful.
A Green action plan for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to be published soon by the European Commission, will set out a series of measures that are proposed to be taken at European level to encourage resource efficiency among SMEs, to promote “green entrepreneurship” and to make it easier for SMEs to access domestic and international markets for eco-innovative products and services.
The European Commission Directorate-General Environment has produced a website page explaining what is a circular economy and the benefits it will bring to Europe in terms of new growth and job opportunities. It provides basic information on circular economy and several links to other sources of information including a new factsheet on the circular economy in three languages English, German and French.
The European Commission has released its European Energy Security Strategy to address the importance of a stable and plentiful supply of energy for Europe’s citizens and economy. The strategy, which encompasses the European Union’s drive to ensure that energy supplies are uninterrupted and energy prices remain stable, was outlined by European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, at a recent high-level conference on energy security (‘Paving the way for a European Energy Security Strategy’).
The European Commission has published the first Call for Proposals under ERASMUS PLUS programme. You can find it below for download, together with the Programme Guide.
Erasmus+ is the new EU programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport for 2014-2020. It aims at boosting skills and employability, and modernising Education, Training and Youth work. The seven year programme will have a budget of €14.7 billion, which represents a 40% increase compared to current spending levels.
The European Commission hosted the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) conference ‘Smart Cities and Communities: Leading the Way in Making Europe’s Cities Smarter’ in Brussels on 26 November 2013. Participants included city leaders, CEOs and civil society leaders who met to discuss how to implement the actions outlined in the (SIP). As a result, the Commission announced that in spring 2014 it will launch an 'Invitation for Smart City and Community Commitments' to mobilise work on the action plan's priorities.
Raw materials are the lifeblood of EU industry. At least 30 million jobs in the EU depend upon access to them. But we face increasing demand for unprocessed minerals and metals and, in parallel, strong challenges to the supply of certain raw materials, including price volatility and market distortions.
Sweden, Germany, Ireland and Luxembourg are the EU Member States getting the most out of innovation, according to a new indicator proposed by the European Commission. The "Indicator of Innovation Output" measures the extent to which ideas from innovative sectors are able to reach the market, providing better jobs and making Europe more competitive. The indicator was developed at the request of EU leaders to benchmark national innovation policies, and shows that significant differences remain between EU countries.