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EU and China agree to further cooperation on circular economy


25 April 2024

Brussels and Beijing have agreed on a joint roadmap for greater collaboration on the vital issue.

The new blueprint defines the actions that both the EU and China will take to implement under the EU-China Memorandum of Understanding on the circular economy. The specific actions outlined in the roadmap focus on plastics, including the ongoing negotiations for a global plastics treaty, battery value chains and remanufacturing.

The roadmap will be implemented throughout 2024 and reviewed at the next High-Level Dialogue on Circular Economy, where priorities and potential new activities to include in the roadmap will be agreed upon.

European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said:

"The transition to the circular economy is a global challenge and requires major shifts in all countries around the world. With this roadmap we are continuing our fruitful collaboration with China to advance the circular economy and create new opportunities for more sustainable production and consumption.

"Closer and continuous engagement with China is key to achieving not only our circular economy, but also other shared environmental ambitions."

On the margins of the World Circular Economy Forum, Director General for Environment, Florika Fink-Hooijer, met with Zhao Chenxin, Vice-Chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, to discuss cooperation opportunities in the circular economy field.

During the meeting, Director General Fink-Hooijer and Vice-Chairman Zhao reached an agreement on the roadmap.

The first workshop on the transition to a circular economy for plastics in the EU and China is being planned for May 2024. The workshop will be an opportunity to discuss in more detail issues related to the design and life-cycle approach in the circular economy, China and the EU’s single use plastics measures and the latest developments on bio-based, biodegradable and compostable plastics.

Workshops on battery value chains and remanufacturing will follow in the course of 2024.


Against the background of the triple planetary crisis of biodiversity loss, climate change and environment pollution, China and the EU have a mutual interest and important role in promoting alternative pathways for development and prosperity that do not contribute to the depletion of our environment.

The circular economy is a central feature of the EU’s drive to achieve a zero-carbon economy by 2050 and is key to halting biodiversity loss and delivering zero pollution. China has a long-standing interest in a more circular economy and has developed specific legislation supporting its transition.

A commitment to this cooperation was confirmed at the first High-level Policy Dialogue on Circular Economy, chaired by Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius and Vice-Chairman Chenxin. Both sides agreed to extend the Memorandum of Understanding for five years and to jointly develop a Circular Economy Roadmap supporting its implementation.

Source: European Commission

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EU and China agree to further cooperation on circular economy