3 November, Luxembourg – The Environment Ministers of the EU have indicated that they are willing to consider a resource efficiency goal in the EU 2020 Strategy and have asked the European Commission to investigate further the introduction of a non-binding, ‘aspirational’ target.
In a discussion on greening the European Semester – wherein the Commission oversees implementation of the EU 2020 Strategy – Ministers stated that, “In particular, [the] circular economy and resource efficiency and their potential in terms of increased growth and employment opportunities should be taken in due consideration in the European Semester”.
It was expected that greater resistance would be met, with the UK, Poland and Ireland having all expressed scepticism over the new target, which may dilute the main objectives of the Strategy, which include boosting competitiveness and job creation. The proposed target received a warmer reception from Belgium, France, Slovenia, Portugal and Sweden.
At the meeting, Environment ministers also pushed for a stronger role in the Semester, which has so far largely focused on finance and economy ministers.
For more information, see the Council Conclusions on Greening the European Semester.