In 2013 the European Environment Agency (EEA) launched a call in order to identify a new consortium for a European Topic Centre in the area of waste and materials in a green economy.The agency's main aim is to support sustainable development and to help improve the condition of the environment in Europe.

Within Europe and the member states, the European Environment Agency is the main source of information in the field of development, implementation and evaluation of European environmental legislation. The agency's main aim is to support sustainable developĀ¬ment and to help improve the condition of the environment in Europe. Therefore, the European Environment Agency focuses on the early provision of specific, relevant and reliable information to both policy makers and the main public. The thematic center will gather data from European waste and material statistics and surveys by member states, determine models and indicators, in order to enable the work of the European Environment Agency.

To realize this, the Flemish Research and Technology Organization VITO submitted a proposal, along with the Public Waste Agency of Flanders (OVAM) and a consortium of partners from Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Finland and the United Kingdom. VITO and OVAM are delighted to announce that the European Environment Agency has chosen their proposal of VITO and OVAM, over two strong files of competing consortia. Our consortium will for example study which policies are most successful in promoting cycle closure, we will use and further develop a European waste model allowing to predict the amounts of waste and their economic impacts, and we will develop indicators showing whether member states are on their way to greening their economy.  

This initiative by VITO with the active participation of OVAM fits perfectly into our strategic partnership for the development of the Flemish Materials Programme (ViA). The functioning of the thematic center corresponds well with the Flemish Policy Research Centre on Sustainable Materials Management, SuMMa. Therefore, our candidacy was also supported by the Flemish Minister of the Environment, Joke Schauvliege. The strong approach to material management in Flanders and the role of VITO in European policy research is thus confirmed and the new task creates opportunities to carry out this experience on a European level.

With this new network of partners, we can continue to build on the current knowledge on waste. At the same time their knowledge gives us the opportunity to look to the future and to build the necessary scientific knowledge on material efficiency and the green economy.

Professor Hans Bruyninckx
Executive Director of the European Environment Agency