Juncker Commission set to dump circular economy package


Legislation that would have led to 70 per cent recycling rates and 80 per cent packaging recycling targets are set to be axed by the European Commission.

Resource Efficient Business understands that a decision has been made by European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans (pictured) to dump both the circular economy package and legislation on air quality.


A decision was made this week by the Vice President to drop the environmental proposals on the basis that they would block the jobs and growth agenda of the new European Commission.

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This followed a review ordered by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker into the circular economy and air quality packages that had been introduced by the previous Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik.

This legislation had also been passed by the European Parliament in July and approved by the European Council and would have led to a 70 per cent municipal recycling target and 80 per cent packaging target by 2030.

One hope for the circular economy package comes from a meeting of European Commissioners yesterday known as the College, where the matter was discussed. If other Commissioners disagreed with the proposal to axe this legislation, then it is possible that it could be saved.

This was confirmed by Dutch MEP Gerben Jan Gerbrandy in a tweet who said: “Work program EC today discussed in College meeting. Juncker proposed to withdraw air and waste package. Hope rest of college disagreed!”

Indeed, current European Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella recently signalled his support for the circular economy package. See here. There will also be disappointment among the 11 EU Environment Ministers that had written to Jean-Claude Juncker to show support for the circular economy and air quality packages. See here

A meeting was taking place this morning known between the Juncker and Timmermans and the Council of Presidents, which represents the political groupings in the European Parliament to discuss the withdrawal of the legislation.