Slovakia aims to address critical environmental issues, such as the extraction of natural resources, environmental pollution, waste generation and greenhouse gas emissions, through a change in the production and consumption cycle, in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal.
The project involves a wide range of stakeholders including international bodies such as the European Commission and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), line ministries, as well as the representatives of the Slovak private, academic and civil sector. The recommendations will be presented in the framework of a comprehensive strategy in 2022.
In line with this commitment, Slovakia also announced to increase the proportion of municipal waste recycled from 39 per cent to reach 55 per cent by 2026 by reforming the system of separated waste collection, gradually increasing landfill fees and limiting the collection of mixed municipal waste. The government plans to allocate 216 million euros to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.
“The need for the transition to a green economy is reflected in our National energy and climate plan,” said Michal Kiča, State Secretary of the Ministry of the Environment of Slovakia.
“We see the circular economy and the efficient consumption of energy and materials as important and key components of the renewal and modernization of the Slovak economy,” he added.
Rodolfo Lacy, Director of the OECD Environment, emphasised that the transition to a circular economy requires government-wide cooperation and a broad set of policies such as waste, chemicals, taxation, trade, innovation and urbanisation among many others.
The project fits into the European Union’s overarching ambition to be a world leader in the circular economy as part of the Europe Green Agreement.
In March, the European Commission adopted its new Circular Economy Action Plan emphasising the importance of stepping up synergies between circularity and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions need to achieve climate neutrality.
Therefore the Commission encouraged Member States to adopt or update their national circular economy strategies, plans and measures in the light of increased climate ambitions.
Other Member States from the CEE region have also adopted or are planning to adopt a Circular Economy National Strategy, however, the transition requires a comprehensive approach and CEE countries are facing complex challenges such as the active involvement of the consumers in changing consumption patterns, the need for innovation and awareness-raising as well as various economic and political difficulties.