Implementing a Circular Economy in the EU. The road to a sustainable future.

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Mihai Daniel Magyari
4. term, European Studies, Master (Master Programme)
Abstract


This paper looks into how the European Union is working towards sustainable development with focus on the Circular Economy (CE), a sustainable economic system that can help achieve EU’s sustainable development goals. These goals include responsible consumption and production, climate action, ending poverty and world hunger and sustainable cities and communities . The aim of this paper is to make use of theories in order to be able to better understand and find a valid answer to the question in the problem formulation.

The approach to the problem statement is made by first establishing a defining concept of the CE concept from the various definitions available in the literature on which the research can be conducted. The other definitions that include the main principles of CE are also analysed to provide an understanding of how CE is adopted and viewed in other fields of research.

Through the use of Neo-Functionalism and its concepts of spill-over effect and function-based agents, an analysis is made of the level of implementation of the CE concept across all the sectors of production in the EU and the role of the supranational actors in the implementation process, in particular the EU institutions and NGO organizations.


Document analysis is the preferred method of research which is used to first establish a keystone definition of CE which best applies to our problem formulation, and then, through analysis of EU policies, strategies, and proposed legislations to determine what is currently being done towards achieving this transition. Furthermore, a contribution is made towards the further promotion of the CE concept by presenting the advantages it holds against the linear model and the impact it can have in the fight to save the environment.

Lastly, the challenges that exist in the EU and which may hinder the implementation of the CE are identified and the limitations the concept holds, which stand to affect its core principle of sustainability, are presented with suggestions on what future Action Programmes should focus on in order to address them.
LanguageEnglish
Publication date1 Feb 2021
Number of pages45
ID: 403316669