In times of dwindling natural resources cities and regions come to recognition that economy built on linear model is no longer viable. A linear economy makes, uses and disposes of resources. The circular economy looks at all the options across the chain to use materials sustainably. And transition to a circular model is an attractive and necessary alternative.

The third thematic workshop organised by the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform took place on 29 June 2017 in Brussels and focused on circular economy in the wider context of resource efficiency. The workshop was the first opportunity to meet and collaborate for partners from 12 Interreg Europe projects working on regional policies for resource efficiency and circular economy. 

The dominant mood in the room was willingness to openly share key constraints and needs, and to interact and network with the community of policy actors and practitioners working in the same field. The exchange and interaction resulted in growing agreement that common challenges can be better addressed through knowledge sharing. Engaged in working groups on specific thematic areas, project partners started to discuss potential synergies between the projects. Participants also contributed with ideas how the services of the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform could foster the knowledge exchange and help managing authorities and other relevant bodies improve regional policies.  

There are several routes to get to a destination. One way EU regions can contribute to the ambitious objectives for economic growth and jobs is through shifting to a circular model that brings win-win solutions for businesses, citizens and environment. A key message from the workshop is the recognition that circular economy is a very innovative field for which more awareness, and real action on local and regional level is needed. Regions can play a key role in this journey.