Moving towards a Circular Economy: Challenges and opportunities for SMEs

The circular economy is not only a buzzword in environmental policy circles, but is also one of the EU’s key strategies to stimulate sustainable economic growth and jobs, as illustrated by the European Commission’s Work Programme for 2016. During 2015, the circular economy was one of the most debated topics in the EU in the context of the withdrawal of the 2014 Circular Economy Proposal and the preparation of the new Circular Economy Package by the Juncker Commission. The GreenEcoNet Final Conference will focus on the circular economy and its implications for EU businesses. The event will include two sessions with expert panels. The first session will bring together SMEs and SME networks to discuss the barriers and enablers to the implementation of circular economy business models. The second session will deal with the 2015 Circular Economy Package, focusing on its measures in support of the green SME transition. A debate will be held on whether the Package can help EU businesses improve their competitiveness while reducing their environmental impacts. 

GreenEcoNet ( is a project financed by the European Commission, which brings businesses and academia together on an EU-wide platform to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the transition to a green economy. This platform allows SMEs in Europe to connect to each other and to share their experiences, innovations and best practices. It thus aims to assist SMEs in optimally reaping the business opportunities of a green economy. 


May 2016



Panagiotis Balabanis
Deputy Head of Unit, DG Research & Innovation, European Commission
Eva Revilla
Policy Officer, DG Grow, European Commission
Guido Lena
Director for Sustainable Development, UEAPME (The European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises)
Michael Steurer
Senior Policy Advisor, Eurochambres
Andrée Buchmann
Director, Entreprendre Vert network
Gregorio Magno Toral
CEO and Founder, Ciclogreen
Henning H. Sittel
Project Manager, Efficiency Agency North Rhine-Westphalia
Tim Horsten
Corporate Responsibility Advisor, Duurzom
Corrado Topi
Senior Research Fellow, University of York - SEI
Magdalena Chávez
Founder and Owner, El Piano plant-based restaurant
Cillian Lohan
Rapporteur for the Circular Economy Package, European Economic and Social Committee


Arno Behrens
Head of Energy and Research Fellow, CEPS
Vasileios Rizos
Research Fellow, CEPS
Wytze van der Gaast
Senior Expert, Joint Implementation Network (JIN)

Moving towards a Circular Economy: Challenges and opportunities for SMEs

May 2016
Participation in this event is free of charge. Networking lunch from 13:00-14:00


CEPS Conference Room

Place du Congres 1 - 1000 Brussels