The Role of the CJEU in Shaping the Future of the Circular Economy


The case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) can have a crucial impact on the circular economy transition. Waste management and in particular the regulation governing the transformation of waste back into raw materials plays an integral role in the circular economy.

This article shows that the case-law has had a crucial role in the development the concept of waste and the rules for excluding secondary materials from it. The article concludes that the CJEU’s powers are emphasized when a regulatory regime is in transition. Moreover, the circular economy regulatory environment is prone to generating numerous preliminary rulings. The importance of reconciling the objectives of the waste, product and chemicals regulation will be emphasized in the future. A natural continuation in the case-law would entail a gradual transition to a single regime for the regulation of materials and their flow.

Authors: Topi Turunen & Joonas Alaranta, UEF

Published: European Energy and Environmental Law Review Volume 30, Issue 2 (2021)

Potential beneficiaries of the results: Ministries, companies, research and development organizations, cities and municipalities, authorities making decisions

More information: 

Topi Turunen

Joonas Alaranta