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EU circular economy package questioned

June 21, 2016

Eu-Commission“A top impact assessment organisation” is questioning information used to defend parts of the European Commission’s (EC) circular economy package (CEP).

The queries were made by the Impact Assessment Institute (IAI) which is based in Brussels, after the EC drew up the CEP in December 2015. The IAI noticed that “plans for a 65 percent recycling rate across the EU by 2030 do not take into account the varying levels of progress accomplished by EU member states to date”, said

The IAI said that the EC had found difficulty finding information that is “complete, accurate and consistent between different member states” and that some “proposals would have been based on judgements and assumptions. These difficulties also raise concerns about the reliability of the data, especially given the projections of outcomes over long timescales.00000

“Small errors in the baseline data could be amplified into significant errors in final outcomes predicted by the waste management model”, and the IAI added that “that benefits for individual member states would be ‘optimised’ by tailored targets and measures that take into account the ‘multiplicity’ of different conditions”. The IAI has suggested that there should be “an assessment of the impacts of options for targets that differentiate sufficiently between member states”.

Simon Godwin, Managing Director of the IAI, commented: “The main issue is the lack of sufficient differentiation between the conditions in member states in relation to the targets that are set. It was originally a one-size-fit- all target, now it is two sizes, but in reality there are 27 different sizes. Some are going to have a lot easier time than others.”

Criticising the structure of the proposals, the IAI compared them to the legislative package proposed by the EC in 2014  when it was under the direction of the ex-Environment Commissioner Janez Potcnik. The IAI said that countless new proposals had been reorganised, and that when they were compared to the 2014 package “made it very difficult to gain a clear understanding of the overall history of the proposals, especially the difference between the 2014 and 2015 versions”.

They concluded that “clarity and transparency would have been greatly improved if all the proposed changes had been in equivalent format in both 2014 and 2015”, with the circular economy proposals currently out for peer review and due to be finalised in July. Revisions are being considered, and the European parliament will seek to agree a position by November.




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