Private Sector Initiatives driving the Circular Transition – WATCH the Replay

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“Transitioning to circular economy requires the engagement of public alternatives of civil society and of course, of businesses. We need to think about how we can help building a pipeline of relevant projects that address the circular economy and that are part of the solution.” With these words Mr. Mathieu Bousquet, Director, Thematic Support, Coordination of Policy & Financial Instruments, DG Neighbourhood & Enlargement Negotiations, invited the participants of WCEF Accelerator Session to discuss how to move the circular economy transition forward.

The WCEF event emphasised the pivotal role of businesses in implementing the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan and propelling the circular transition in the EU Neighbourhoods: the Western Balkans, the Eastern Partnership, and the Southern Neighbourhood. Entrepreneurs and the private sector are crucial in driving this transition to a circular economy by embracing new production patterns for economic growth while using resources efficiently. As catalysts for change they can help reshape value chains, and redesign products and services to minimise resource use, waste and pollution while advancing carbon neutrality and inclusivity.

Mr. Karim Dahou, Deputy Director and Head of China Unit at OECD underlined the significance of the circular economy for both environmental sustainability and economic resilience. He stressed the potential of circular economy to accelerate competitiveness, and innovation in production and consumption practices, providing significant business opportunities in efficiency or cost gains and new market creation.

At the panel discussion that followed, businesses and entrepreneurs from Egypt, Georgia, Jordan, and North Macedonia presented their innovative approaches to circularity, demonstrating efforts to create jobs, develop circular products, and preserve natural capital and biodiversity amid rising material consumption. The event concluded with an official ceremony to launch of the Circular Economy Roadmaps of Albania and North Macedonia.

The session was organised by DG Near and OECD with support of the SWITCH to Green Facility. See the recording.