Veltha and 17 European Regions worked together from 2016 up to 2018 in the H2020 SCREEN project (Synergic Circular Economy across European Regions) and defined a replicable systemic approach towards a transition to Circular Economy in EU regions within the context of their Smart Specialization Strategy. A “Laboratory on Policies” (Policy Lab) was established in order to ignite the analysis on circular economy projects, with a two-fold aim: first, it ensured that the analysis and the proposals developed within the project were discussed both with regional and EU-level policymakers, as well as with other key stakeholders. This was a crucial step in order to guarantee the feasibility, relevance and effectiveness of the proposals; second, it acted as a platform for synergy creations, triggering the regular exchange of information and feedback among the participants in order to take into account all the views during the actual implementation and allowing the exploration of possible scenarios and the co-designing of solutions for better policies.
Due to the results achieved, which went far beyond what was expected at the beginning, and the enthusiasm expressed by the partners, the Policy Lab continued after the end of the project as an informal cooperation network between European regions open to other regions and stakeholders in the field of circular economy. In March 2020, the European Union adopted the new Circular Economy Action Plan “For a cleaner and more competitive Europe”. There is a pressing need for smooth communication and coordination between the regions in order to bring innovative proposals to Brussels. The circular economy has to be the center of the development strategy and the only way to tackle this challenge is to address it jointly. In order to facilitate these needed partnerships, Veltha has decided to set up the Policy Lab 2.0 “”Policy Lab for a Europe made by Circular Regions (SCREEN-Lab) 3, a think-tank operating on a free platform open to all regional stakeholders willing to co-create and implement policies enabling EU industry, SMEs and the public to adopt a circular sustainable approach.
This document explains the working methodology and the results raised from the first round of discussions within the Policy Lab.