The EU Circular Economy and Trade Report analyses the global dimension of the EU circular economy, exploring the links with trade and sustainable development. The transition to a sustainable circular economy in Europe is an essential building block for the delivery of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

In a global economy, it is worth considering that the EU’s efforts to shift to a more sustainable use of resources within its territory are likely to have repercussions and spill-over effects – both positive and negative – outside the Union’s borders.

In this context, trade plays a key role as trade agreements (e.g. FTAs) can incentivise or hinder the circularity of material flows at an international scale. Similarly, trade flows are likely to be affected by the shift to circular systems.

The report examines the foreseen impacts of implementing circular economy measures in the EU on international trade and – through trade – on third countries. A number of policy recommendations are provided, calling for improved policy coherence between circular economy measures and trade policies.