• External

The Global Circular Economy Community Meets in Brussels


The world’s leading event for circular economy thinkers, doers and leaders, the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF), came to Brussels on 15-16 April 2024, showcasing impactful circular solutions from around the world and exploring how to put theory and into action.

More than 1,000 participants and 150 speakers from around the world engaged in targeted discussions around governance, finance, people and employment, as well as business and innovation – the key enablers that drive the implementation of circular solutions on the ground. In this occasion, the WCEF joined forces with the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP) Annual Conference. 

The ECESP, powered by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee, showcased and presented Europe’s progress in the transition to a circular economy in dedicated sessions.  

The Interreg Euro-MED Innovative Sustainable Economy Mission, represented in the ECESP Coordination Group since 2020 through the coordinator of the Thematic Community Project, Mercè Boy Roura from Beta Technological Centre, actively participated in some of the sessions and at the ECESP networking area booth. On the first day, the ISE Mission was presented at the workshop “The ECESP: a success story,” which served as a platform to showcase the project as an innovative accelerator towards a circular economy in Europe. 

The parallel session on “Effective and inclusive circular transition governance in cities and regions” took place on the second day. It brought local and regional authorities together to provide insights into concrete lessons learned on the ground; challenges related to public-private partnerships and network governance; the application and use of financial resources; and methods for monitoring circular transformation.  

On this occasion, Daniela Sani from ART-ER, who participates in the Interreg Euro-MED thematic project Blue Ecosystem, was invited as a speaker to give updates on the experience of Emilia-Romagna region of putting circular economy theory into action. 

During the two-day event, online and on-site attendees enjoyed keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities to boost engaging discussions and inspire change. A mix of policy-oriented sessions and stakeholder dialogues were organised, to highlight the key role of legislative framework and civil organisations in developing a circular economy that is designed for a swift and effective implementation.  

The forum highlighted the urgent need for transitioning to circular economy models to address environmental and societal challenges. It emphasised the importance of fostering cross-sector innovation, driving systemic change through global collaboration, establishing targets, increasing skills and providing level playing field.