PES ministers back joint declaration: A Circular Economy for a New Industrial Strategy

PES ministers back joint declaration: A Circular Economy for a New Industrial Strategy

PES COMPET meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on 25 September 2023

By combining sustainable mining and recycling, with sturdier and more repairable consumer goods, we can ensure Europe meets its raw material needs now and in the future. This is the conclusion of a declaration adopted today by socialist and democratic government ministers responsible for competition, trade and the economy.

The declaration – A Circular Economy for a New Industrial Strategy – comes after ministers from the Party of European Socialists (PES) met last week to coordinate for the EU Competitiveness Council. The Council of the EU and the European Parliament are currently entering into negotiations on two pieces of EU legislation: the Critical Raw Materials Act and the Ecodesign/Sustainable Products Regulation.

Chairing the meeting, Luxembourgish Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot said:

“We must ensure we have access to the necessary materials needed to build the wind turbines, electric vehicles, batteries, and semiconductors needed for the green transition. That means finding sustainable and reliable sources, and making better of the material we already have.

“As social democrats, we take a firm stance on social and environmental standards in resource extraction. We must ensure that mining in Europe and around the world respects the highest possible standards. Sourcing must be responsible, protect workers’ health, provide good working conditions, and not harm the environment and biodiversity.”

At the meeting last week, ministers exchanged on issues on the agenda for the COMPET Council and prioritise for the coming period, noting that deregulation – especially regarding climate action – is never a substitute for concrete policy proposals to boost competitiveness. The meeting thanked Belgian Minister of Economy and Employment Pierre-Yves Dermagne for his leadership of the PES COMPET ministers’ meetings over the last year. Ministers also welcomed Slovenia’s State Secretary for Economic Development and Technology Dejan Židan to the PES COMPET for the first time.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Franz Fayot, meeting Chair, Minister of the Economy, Luxembourg
  • António Costa Silva, Minister of Economy and Maritime Affairs, Portugal
  • Dejan Židan, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy, Tourism and Sport, Slovenia
  • Pedro Marques, PES/S&D coordinator the implementation of our progressive Commission Work Programme, PES/S&D Group
  • Yonnec Polet, PES Deputy Secretary General, PES