Environmental Policy - Circular Economy Action Plan

The EU’s new circular action plan paves the way for a cleaner and more competitive Europe.

The European Commission adopted the new circular economy action plan (CEAP) in March 2020. It is one of the main building blocks of the European Green Deal, Europe’s new agenda for sustainable growth. The EU’s transition to a circular economy will reduce pressure on natural resources and will create sustainable growth and jobs. It is also a prerequisite to achieve the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality target and to halt biodiversity loss.

The new action plan announces initiatives along the entire life cycle of products. It targets how products are designed, promotes circular economy processes, encourages sustainable consumption, and aims to ensure that waste is prevented and the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible.

It introduces legislative and non-legislative measures targeting areas where action at the EU level brings real added value.


Measures that will be introduced under the new action plan aim to:

  • make sustainable products the norm in the EU
  • empower consumers and public buyers
  • focus on the sectors that use most resources and where the potential for circularity is high such as: electronics and ICT, batteries and vehicles, packaging, plastics, textiles, construction and buildings, food, water and nutrients
  • ensure less waste
  • make circularity work for people, regions and cities
  • lead global efforts on circular economy


The Commission will implement all 35 actions listed in the action plan. The full list of actions can be found in the implementation tracking table.

Connecting Circular Economy, Culture and Cultural Heritage

Adaptive reuse of cultural heritage (ARCH) buildings embodies the integration of circular economy and cultural heritage. Moreover, ARCH seems to be one of the most viable solutions to apply circular economy in the historic built environment. Adaptive reuse of cultural heritage buildings exemplify the central principle of circular economy, which is temporally long service life with multiple use for several generations of users. Furthermore, it is important to emphasize that cultural heritage, as well as culture itself, are established drivers of socioeconomic development and enablers of sustainable urban development.