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Cluster Meeting on Circular Economy and Energy Transition

After the EU-China High-Level Dialogue on Regional Policy, over 40 Chinese and EU cities exchanged experiences, solutions and opportunities related to their projects on circular economy and energy transition. The opening session was moderated by Alexandra Lehmann from the EU Delegation to China. Eva Malanikova from DG REGIO explained the EU Urban agenda Partnership, which is led by EU cities and regions and summarized the 12 activities in place that aim at better regulation, better funding and better knowledge. Mr Bartosz Cieleszynski from DG Environment presented the Circular Economy Package and summarized the main global trends on resource use, food demand, water scarcity and climate change that forced the EU to prepare the package.

A key note was given by a representative from the Ellen MacArthur foundation, focusing on the role of urban policymakers and presenting specific case studies for textile, plastics, and food that can be an inspiration and lessons learned for IUC cities.

Two panels sessions followed on policies and practices of cities to promote circular economy, where the region of Hainan, the city of Rome and the district of Liudong presented their experiences and expectations. Hainan is introducing a ban on single-use plastics, while Rome is embarked in an ambitious urban agriculture project and Liuzhou is focusing on improving its environmental standards.

In the last panel session on cluster cooperation, the cluster manager explained the expected results of the IUC programme, which aimed at developing a thematic action plan that will have sustainability as one of the core elements. Representatives from Weinan, Bologna, Manchester and Guanhzhou, debated on their respective experiences on circular economy. Mr Mark Atherton from Greater Manchester Combined Authority also introduced the city’s low-carbon development strategy.

In the Q&A session, questions like the recycling of agriculture wastes, the use of hydroponics in cities, food packaging, and the availability of training materials in Chinese were raised.

The meeting was closed by the Deputy Mayor of Liuzhou, Hou Gang.

Next steps

Week 29.4 – 03.05.2019        WebEx Call with Cluster Participants from EU and China

April – May 2019                      Elaboration of potential pilot project fact-sheets, including stakeholders analysis, funding sources, etc.

10 – 14 June 2019                     Possible mission to China



DG REGIO on Circular Economy

IUC Asia on Circular Economy

Ellen McArthur Foundation






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