Regional Actions on Citizen Involvement in Circular Economy

For a successful circular economy transition, the involvement of all the actors is fundamental. Among these actors are governments, municipalities, businesses, and citizens. For nearly four years, the CECI – Citizen Involvement in Circular Economy Implementation -project has been working on developing regional circular economy policies and emphasising the role of citizens. (Interreg Europe 2023a) Link to CECI website

Policies could be improved in three ways: (1) new projects funding the addressed issue; (2) improved governance of the policy instrument, or (3) a change in the structural focus of the instrument. For achieving such a policy change, six regional circular economy action plans on citizens involvement were designed in project partners’ regions. These action plans are specific for each region based on their prioritization and needs. They contain selected actions with concrete measures to achieve those. Link to CECI Action Plans

On 6 June 2023, the final CECI event was organized in Lahti and online. The first part of the event was dedicated to presentations given by esteemed expert speakers tackling circular economy on various levels (EU, national, and regional). Whereas the second part focused on the action plans implementations and achievements. Partners selected one of their actions to be presented to the audience in more details.

CECI Regional Action Plans

In the Päijät-Häme region, Finland, five actions were identified in the action plan. The actions focused on (1) Sustainable housing services, (2) Business based on circular and sharing economy, (3) Circular economy in the creative sector, (4) Disposable textiles, and (5) Sustainable mobility. All the actions have been successfully implemented via dedicated projects. The region achieved four policy changes. 

The Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France has focused on three actions: (1) Regional circular economy platform, (2) Circular economy projects funded by LEADER, and (3) Textile valorisation and responsible fashion. One policy change was achieved related to Action 1 by the adoption of the Circular Economy Roadmap. 

The Moravian-Silesian Region, Czech Republic also listed three actions focusing on: (1) Reuse Centres, (2) Circular Scans and Material Market, and (3) Education of cities and municipalities. The ambitions were achieved and led to one policy change. 

In the Aragon Region, Spain, two actions were selected targeting (1) Implementation of Library of Things and (2) Prevention and Waste Management Plan towards Circular Economy. The region will report two policy changes. 

The Varna municipality, Bulgaria determined three actions related to: (1) Increase circular economy awareness at the municipal administration, (2) Launch CIRCULAR VARNA platform, and (3) Proposal on Varna development in the municipal plan. The action plan was successfully implemented, and one policy change will be submitted. 

Finally, the City of Mechelen, Belgium, set four actions in their action plan: (1) Raising awareness of circular consumption, (2) Strengthening circular community, (3) Promoting shared mobility, and (4) Circular principles in the renovation scheme. They achieved one structural focus change.

The article was originally published in LAB Focus on 16.6.2023: