About the project

JM 30th anniversary Signature

The Jean Monnet project «The circular economy: “the number one priority” for the European Green Deal» (CIRECON) (September 2020 – August 2022) coordinated by Association NEST (Bulgaria) aims to strengthen understanding of the importance of development and research in the field of circular economy of the EU in the context of European integration.

In 2015, the European Commission adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Action Plan, which includes measures that will help stimulate Europe’s transition towards a circular economy, boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs.

The EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy establishes a concrete and ambitious programme of action, with measures covering the whole cycle: from production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials and a revised legislative proposal on waste. Three years after adoption, the Circular Economy Action Plan is fully completed.

The European Commission is now preparing a Second Circular Economy Action plan. Ursula von der Leyen, the incoming Commission president, wants Europe to cut carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050. A new circular economy action plan will make up “half” of the carbon cuts expected under the Green Deal. The circular economy, including new waste and recycling laws, will represent “half” of the EU’s effort to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and will be erected as “the number one priority” of the upcoming European Green Deal.

The objectives of the Jean Monnet Project CIRECON are:

– supporting information and dissemination activities for the experts in the field of circular economy in the EU and for civil society as a whole;

– spreading of knowledge in the field of circular economy in the EU to the wider society, beyond academia and specialized audiences, as well as bringing the EU closer to the public through the media and social networks;

– organization of conference and  roundtable in the field of circular economy in the EU;

– to increase awareness, understanding and knowledge in the field of circular economy in the EU in order to provide sustainable development of EU economy and turn their attention to the EU integration processes and their reflection under different areas;

– to stimulate the debate and research on the importance of European integration in the field of circular economy in the EU;

– to provide a platform to assess of an level the impacts of European and national circular economy plans and for the engagement of researchers and policy makers.

The rationale for the project stems from the realization that European environment and climate policy and circular economy in the EU is topics central to European policy and are insufficiently highlights in the partner countries of the EU.

The academic added value of this project is two constituents. Firstly, it disseminates advanced knowledge and information about the environment and climate policy EU in the context of circular economy in the EU, and secondly it helps to enrich the expertise of envisaged target groups (students, academics, experts, civil society, local government of the national and EU level) in order to strengthen their capacities to benefit of cooperation EU and partner countries in the field of circular economy.

Priority target group of the Jean Monnet Project CIRECON are:

– institutions or academics not yet in receipt of Jean Monnet funding;

– students, young researchers (active at the national and EU level) to 35 years who do not automatically come into contact with European studies in the context of European integration.

The international conference and the round table will give greater visibility to the European integration studies of the Jean Monnet Project. They will explore the topics of European circular economy from a multidisciplinary perspective, offering the possibility of interaction between academics, representative of civil society and public authorities, and thus assuring a greater openness to civil society of the European integration processes and debates.

The other activity in the Jean Monnet Project is the book of selected reports of International Conference “The circular economy: “the number one priority” for the European Green Deal”, allowing to get optimal results of project. Outputs are Jean Monnet Project website, roundtable debate, international conference, proceeding book (English) of selected reports of International Conference “The circular economy: “the number one priority” for the European Green Deal”. The project website will offer students, researchers, specialists, civil society organizations and public and private stakeholders dealing with circular economy at the national and EU level a meeting space for sharing ideas and experiences. A lasting impact shall be achieved through the direct involvement of key target groups during the lifetime of the project, as well as bringing the EU closer to the public through the media and social networks.

Publication of the main outputs of the project in the proceeding book (English) of selected reports of International Conference “The circular economy: “the number one priority” for the European Green Deal”, on the website, as well as the dissemination of information through Open Educational Resources (OER) will contribute to the emergence and enhancement of interest in the ideas of the European Union.  

The project will be implemented through a 3-day international conference, 3-day round table and through the research and publication of high quality research paper in the peer-reviewed journal. The conference and round table will be open to academia, researchers, professionals in the field of circular economy, policy-makers and interested public where a special focus will be paid to engagement of postgraduate students, young professionals and young researchers. By bringing them together, these events will enable the cross-fertilisation of the ideas and fostering of the dialogue between different stakeholders of circular economy and will contribute to enhancing the knowledge in in member countries and partner countries about the relevant policy in the field of circular economy at the level of European Union. The participants will acquire new ideas and will widen their views relevant for their academic and professional life. The participation of European partners and partner countries will provide a comparative angle and bring an added value to the reflection on the discussed issues. These events will enable the fostering of the dialogue between different in the field of circular economy stakeholders and will contribute to enhancing the knowledge about the relevant environment and climate policy processes at the European Union level. The collection of papers will be a tool for lecturing and wider knowledge dissemination gained through conference and round table.

The expected impact of the project will be by having long lasting effects in priority target groups:

–  on Association NEST as institution hosting the Jean Monnet Action;

– institutions or academics not yet in receipt of Jean Monnet funding;

– on students, young researchers (active at the national and EU level) to 35 years who do not automatically come into contact with European studies in the context of European integration.

– as well as on researchers, specialists, civil society organizations and public and private stakeholders dealing with circular economy at the national and EU level.

The impact on the students, young researchers, academics will result of experiences accumulated by the academic instructors and researchers involved in the project activities, especially in the International conference and roundtable which specialty papers will be elaborated to enrich the academic pool of knowledge.

Association NEST will get expected impact of the project as relevant institution in EU studies and as an important circular economy research focal point of European Union.

It is also planned that this project impact the local, national and European on professional community of experts as well. Staff of higher education institutions from HEIs in N. Macedonia and  Italy will use the results of the project when developing working programs, curricula, textbook and methodical materials of the concerning circular economy in the EU. Staff of higher education institutions will be included involved during the lifetime of the project.

The professional community of experts from European Union countries and partner countries will be reached by various dissemination events (conference, round table) and materials of project (collection of conference reports, articles in peer-reviewed journals). Web site will be also propose the gathered information, will be platform for exchange of best practices in the field circular economy in the EU and will build knowledge and will promote the European energy integration process.

Through the active inclusion of the academic and teaching institutions, the project will focus in particular on students and young professionals with the aim to ensure better studying of the EU-related topics in the existing and future curricula of programmes, and to contribute the interest in related with EU topics among young researchers and civil sector.

The project will contribute to the pooling of the existing research resources, thus enabling the development of further research in the related fields, as well as, developed in the educational materials for the university programmes in European studies and circular economy programmes.

Target groups:

Students, academics, civil society and local government, active at the national and EU level.

Outputs:

  • International conference “The circular economy: “the number one priority” for the European Green Deal”;
  • expert round table “Development of circular economy in European Union”;
  • book of selected reports of International Conference “The circular economy: “the number one priority” for the European Green Deal”;
  • working/networking meetings;
  • promotional events;
  • the website of the project;
  • Open Educational Resources (OER): Materials of the International Conference and Round Table.

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