Serbia gets Circular Economy Program – A chance to develop small and medium enterprises and the connection for the fourth industrial revolution

, News

The Ministry of Environmental Protection announced today that the drafting of the Program for Circular Economy with an action plan for three years has begun.
It is planned that the draft of the Program will be made by the end of 2021. As a preparation for the development of the Program, in the previous period, an Ex-ante analysis of the effects for the field of circular economy was made, whose authors are Dusan Vasiljevic and Dragana Petrovic.
According to the analysis, the goal of establishing a circular economy in Serbia is to overcome the dehumanizing neoliberal economic model and lay the foundations for the fourth industrial revolution.
– The circular economy is the result of the need to change the existing neoliberal and somewhat dehumanized economic model. It is the platform of the fourth industrial revolution for the application of a new way of organizing the industry, which envisages deep integration and management of production and information flows, and the interaction of technological and thought processes with the aim of maximum optimization. It is a tool for the integration of existing processes and which summarizes advanced and highly efficient technologies and technological procedures that, as far as possible, use as raw materials available primary production residues, semi-finished products and waste generated by the end of product life, with maximum use of energy from renewable sources and with the aim of eliminating the harmful impact on the environment, using in-depth digitization as a connecting element – it is stated in the introductory part of the study.
The authors defined the circular economy as the circular movement of products through three circles.
– Prolonged use with intensive maintenance, reparation at the end of its life and reuse and finally, waste treatment. What cannot be recycled is used for energy purposes, for composting or biodegradation and final disposal of unusable or hazardous fractions of waste – the study states.
The study concluded that a major problem in the development of the circular economy is the difficult application of new technologies, which is still in its infancy.
– The use of new technologies is still in its infancy and is difficult to implement due to the small or certainly limited capacity of the economy to bear the burden of change. At the same time, there is interest in improving business and openness to change – it is stated in the analysis made after the conducted research.
It is emphasized that there is reservations and resistance due to not considering the whole concept and the advantages that this model brings, as well as the obligations that must be fulfilled.
It is stated that misunderstanding is most often a consequence of insufficient information.
As it is pointed out, for a qualitative step forward in the circular economy, it is necessary to set up a systemic solution that has a legal framework, institutional support, mechanisms for implementation, control and monitoring.
– Ways must be provided so that the economy, which bears the burden of change, has ways to improve its business in accordance with the requirements, but also with its own interests – the analysis concludes.
It is also stated that due to inconsistencies of national regulations with the relevant EU regulations, without systemic incentive measures or appropriate institutional solution, economic initiatives are often the result of individual – ad hoc efforts.
The authors point out that the circular economy model can be a great opportunity for the entire economy, and especially for the micro, small and medium enterprises sector.
The findings of the analysis indicate that the area needs to be regulated, the institutional and legal system needs to be improved, legislation needs to be harmonized, a mechanism for coordinating and leading the process needs to be created, and the environment for economic growth needs to be improved with effective support mechanisms.
– It is necessary to make an effort to reach a social consensus for changes through intensive information and support for education, additional education and exchange of knowledge and experiences, which, indisputably and obviously lead to improvement – the authors conclude.
As key proposals, they state full harmonization of the legal framework with EU legislation with adjustments according to national specific conditions, establishment of a special government agency for circular economy, ie addition of these competencies to the Environmental Protection Agency.
It is also proposed to establish an independent financial institution that would support institution building and strengthening programs as well as create a favorable business environment, and on a commercial basis provide support to the economy in achieving specific goals through credit lines or participation in project financing.
Measures include providing close institutional coordination with the economy, and providing incentives in the fiscal sphere instead of direct subsidies.
In addition to creating a national media campaign for the circular economy, it is proposed to establish a payment system for waste disposal, as well as to determine the mandatory shares of recycled materials in the final product.
Measures include defining the minimum share of green public procurement in public procurement procedures, as well as expanding incentives for green procurement in the commercial sector, eKapija reports.