Analytics, Ecology, Economics, EU – Baltic States, Modern EU

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 12.07.2020, 13:09

Competitiveness and circularity: approaches in the Baltic Sea Region

Marta Czarnecka-Gallas, Let’s Communicate, Poland, 10.10.2019.Print version
Several EU states focus this October on circular economy: e.g. during “Circular Days/Circular weeks” in Poland (07-13.10.2019), many activities are devoted to promoting sustainable consumer behavior, supporting circular business models and establishing cooperation among stakeholders.

Lithuanian example

One of the countries which take the new challenges seriously is Lithuania: the country is concentrated firmly on the Baltic Sea Region. Current Vice-Minister of the Economy and Innovation, responsible for innovation policy, industry and trade in Lithuania, Gintaras Vilda, enlists several practical reasons for this attitude: first of all, the country takes an ‘export’ perspective as Lithuania is developing fast its industrial sector.

Most of Lithuanian companies are already within the EU”s value chains through Germany, Scandinavia, etc. and from this perspective it is essential for the companies to know what services the consumers want, what are the trends and what to produce for consumers? So, in order to be innovative and survive in a value chain a modern company must be circular-economy oriented, more socially responsible, with fewer resources- and energy-consumption oriented, more valuable in a price, responsible with the employees, more responsible with salaries.

But does Lithuania have a separate and comprehensive circular-economy strategy? Mr. G. Vilda says that Lithuanian policymakers have a different approach: “we need to have an integrative strategy, not only for the circular economy but for the whole economy. When we are talking about the upcoming ten years’ period till 2030, we want to create a society with “smart people building smart economy”; hence, we need an integral part of our strategy which will be related with circular economy.

This program is part of a national policy; it is a cross-sectorial horizontal programme uniting e.g. the ministries of transport, agriculture, economy and innovation in coordinates different ministries involved in implementation, concludes Mr. Vilda.

European approach

The circular economy’s transition is at heart of European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. For the purpose of this year’s EUSBSR Annual Forum, a special report was prepared, analysing state of the art in all EUSBSR countries. The conclusions are not satisfying, showing that only some countries thoughtfully incorporate circular economy principles in their policies and only two - Germany and Finland - adopted circular economy strategies, while Poland, Estonia and Sweden are in progress of formulating ones.

However, the whole initiative on ‘circularity’ and its connection to innovations gives hope for more cross-sectoral and multi-level involvement in the future.

Source: the report “No time to waste. Unlocking the circular potential of the Baltic Sea Region” at:



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