On Monday 20 March, Commission Vice-President Katainen presented to the Environment Committee the European Commission’s view on the Commission Eco-design Working Plan 2016-2019.

The Commissioner made the following points in course of the debate:

  • The Eco-design Directive together with the Energy Labeling Directive work well towards energy savings in Europe.
  • The investments in the circular economy are not being financed from the European Fund for Strategic Investments.
  • The waste legislation puts technological pressure on the waste management. Therefore, the waste operators might seek more funding once the legislation is adopted.

The Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Directives lay down conditions and criteria for implementing measures that set out binding requirements for specific product groups. Priorities for product groups to be investigated are established through regular Working Plans. On 30 November 2016, the Commission published its communication on the Ecodesign Working Plan, setting out the priorities under the ecodesign and energy labelling framework for 2016 to 2019. The Plan presents ongoing work and upcoming reviews of existing measures, identifies additional product groups to be further examined, and sets out how ecodesign will contribute better to circular economy objectives. In the coming years, the Commission plans to finalise ongoing regulatory work on products identified in previous working plans and to undertake the review of existing measures. The Commission will examine how aspects relevant to the circular economy, such as resource efficiency, reparability, recyclability and durability can be assessed and taken on board. The Commission also wants to start preparatory studies for already 4 identified new product groups. The Communication also addresses international cooperation, convergence of test and measurement methods, and minimum energy performance requirements.