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Knowledge category: Papers and reports

Best Practices in developing Circular Economy Strategies in Europe

Updated on 09.02.2023

In preparation of the European 2021–2027 programming period, JASPERS has started to advise national managing authorities of European funds, on how to integrate the circular economy policy objectives in: the national, regional and/or local strategic frameworks, the European fund operational programmes and the project pipeline development.

Author: JASPERS Circular Economy Team
Year of publication: 2022

More information

An initial JASPERS finding is that national circular economy strategies are a cornerstone to develop and embed circularity. The present working paper provides an overview of existing circular economy strategies in Europe and of the emerging best methodological, implementation and monitoring practices.

This working paper comes with an accompanying Excel Database summarising the 70+ circular economy strategies developed in Europe as of May 2021 that have been reviewed in preparation of this paper. The 70+ strategies were analysed from three different angles of the strategy life cycle, namely: the inception, the analysis and development and, finally, the implementation and monitoring.

The selected cases represent different governance levels (national, regional, local) and geographies (representing the EU’s southern and northern Member States). Therefore, this report aims to support strategy makers, including at regional and municipal level, when developing their own circular economy (CE) strategy. The working paper outlines the definition of a circular economy strategy highlighting its systemic nature: ‘Circular economy strategies or roadmaps aim to further the transition to a circular economy. They present a clear strategic plan and define objectives or a desired outcome and include key steps or milestones. CE strategies or roadmaps are comprehensive and address the transition from multiple points of view in one document. All stages of the value chain such as production, consumption, waste management, secondary raw materials, and innovation and investments are considered.’ The analysis of the selected cases will be useful and helpful for other cities and regions in many ways. For example, to familiarise themselves with and learn from best practices on the definition of the objectives and the focus areas in CE strategies, stakeholder alignment, implementation measures and monitoring progress.

Relevance for Circular Systemic Solutions

The working paper highlights the methodologies/tools that are commonly used to define a CE strategy. These best practices on CE strategies can provide useful and helpful insights into how prioritise value chains and sectors in the CE strategy, and thus make sure that it provides strategic support for the development and implementation of local Circular Systemic Solutions.




Batteries and vehicles

CEAP2 key product value chain


CEAP2 key product value chain



CEAP2 key product value chain

Construction and buildings

built environment, CEAP2 key product value chain

Food (chain/systems)

CEAP2 key product value chain


CEAP2 key product value chain


CEAP2 key product value chain

Transport and mobility


e.g. electrical engineering, furniture and interior, textile and fashion


e.g. healthcare

Wholesale and retail trade

Government and public administration



including bio-based economy


Culture and events

Social community

Waste management

Digital economy

digital tools facilitating CE transition


Territories involved


large 500 000-200 000, medium 200 000-50 000, and small cities 50 000-5 000

Metropolitan areas

large metropolitan area >1.5 million, metropolitan area 1.5 million-500 000




predominantly urban regions, intermediate and predominantly rural regions, refer to TERCET typology NUTS 3 region

Intra-territorial areas

Industrial zones

Agricultural zones

Brown field zones

Coastal areas

Mountain areas


Cross-border areas


Water areas


e.g. commercial, residential, service, industrial