Material consumption in the European Union is high and rising, creating significant environmental and social impacts along the value chain from raw material extraction to treatment of waste both inside and outside the EU. Several circular economy initiatives have been put forward or are expected to be implemented to slow and reduce this material throughput and therefore to mitigate its environmental and social consequences. However, all circular economy policies can have positive as well as negative environmental and social spillovers, which should be carefully assessed in policy design.
In her plans for 2023 addressed to the EU Parliament, President of the EU Commission von der Leyen did not mention the proposal for a Sustainable Food System legislative framework (SFSF). This created speculation about the timeframe of this key proposal which has been put forward as a cornerstone of the EU Green Deal for the agri-food sector. This blogpost, co-signed by members of the Think Sustainable Europe network, underlines the importance of the SFSF to be proposed next year in order to drive a sustainable transition of the EU food system, given the urgency of such a transition.
Eero Yrjö-Koskinen, currently Director of the Finnish Institute in Hungary (FinnAgora), has been appointed IEEP's new Executive Director. He will join the Institute on 2 November succeeding Ben Allen who has been acting as Executive Director ad interim, since the departure of Céline Charveriat.
In early 2022, IEEP created the Green Trade Network, a group of experts from over 20 European research organisations working on the trade and environment nexus. You will find here information on the network's activities as well as the editorial from its latest newsletter. Don't hesitate to subscribe!
For many foreign observers, and not a few UK citizens, the peculiarity of the British political system, where approximately 0.3% of the population gets to elect the leader of the political party in power (and thus indirectly elect the new Prime Minister) has been a source of puzzlement. Not surprisingly, the rights and wrongs of this have absorbed copious newspaper columns and articles and the debate feels far from settled.
To date, the EU has agreed a set of non-binding biodiversity objectives and actions in its Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. Central to this is a new nature restoration Regulation (Restoration Law) proposed by the European Commission with legally binding restoration targets for ecosystems habitats and species.
In May 2022, IEEP announced an enhanced focus on UK environmental policy and the appointment of a new Director. The Institute hopes to play an increased role in the analysis, reflection and debate that will accompany the changes induced by Brexit.