Revised monitoring framework for CE, and another rethink 2023-06-08

On the bright side Eurostat’s revised monitoring framework for circular economy, includes new indicators such as material footprint, resource productivity, consumption footprint and even green public procurement. These new indicators can thus an influence how the Commission tracks progress toward a low-carbon and circular transition.

However, on the down side, among the circular economy Rs the recycling is still prevailing. Inside the waste management group of indicators, we find two subgroups (overall recycling rates and recycling rates for specific waste streams). Under the Secondary Raw materials group we then find a further Contribution of recycled materials to raw materials demand subgroup and Trade in recyclable raw materials. This means that the heavy emphasis on recycling is remaining, despite broader conversations that are now more and more emphasizing also other Rs such as repurpose, remanufacture etc.
But this overwhelming focus mostly on recycling remains also when thinking of the EUs indicator for innovation related to circular economy. As we know, patents can indicate the level of inventive (if not innovative) activity within a certain field – providing of course the indicator is catching what it should.

A few years ago, some of our IPR4SC group already criticized here - what is currently called the indicator “Patents related to waste management and recycling”. We expressed concerns if the indicator really measures all it should, or, by using it, are we remaining blind about some interesting developments going on (in mora data-speak we would say, if it produces many false negatives). Unfortunately, this still seems to be the case as the indicator is still relying on so called Y02W codes, which were in its origin not meant to capture innovation related to circularity, with all its Rs. With all the advancements in regard to Rs, is it not time to move forward and rethink this indicator?



Tamara Besednjak Valič

Faculty Of Information Studies In Novo Mesto



Virág Szuák

Pannon Business Network Association