The first formal Environment Council under the Italian Presidency of the EU is set to discuss a target for resource efficiency and recycling targets.
At a meeting today in Luxembourg, outgoing Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik (pictured) and Climate Change Commissioner Connie Hedegaard will represent the European Commission among representatives of the government’s of each EU Member State.
The key discussion point in the morning session will be on reinforcing the environmental dimension of EU governance and the Europe 2020 strategy, with a particular focus on resource efficiency and the circular economy.
It will be followed by an orientation debate on the waste target review, proposed in July by the Commission as part of the broader package of initiatives to turn Europe into a more circular economy and boost recycling in Member States.
This would result in a 70 per cent municipal recycling rate, and 80 per cent packaging recycling target needing to be met by 2025, including a ban on landfilling recyclable materials by 2025.
Council members will discuss a compromise text prepared by the Italian Presidency, with a view to adopting conclusions on the Greening of the European Semester and the Europe 2020 Strategy mid-term review.
The European Council and European Parliament have agreed that elements of the 7th Environmental Action Programme should be included in the regular monitoring process of the Europe 2020 Strategy, to ensure that it is built on a strong foundation of sustainability and resource efficiency.
They have also agreed to assess whether it would be appropriate for a lead resource efficiency target to be put in place. Ministers from each represented EU nation will give their view on the target at the meeting today.
In early discussions, the UK is understood to have said that it is against the inclusion of any targets in Europe 2020.