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CIRCTER – Circular Economy and Territorial Consequences





Germany alone generated around one fifth of the total turnover of the Cicular Economy. Prognos contributed, on behalf of ESPON, the EU's think tank for territorial development, to the report "CIRCTER - Circular Economy and Territorial Consequences".

The elaborate investigation into the economic structure of the regional Circular Economy in Europe was conducted by Prognos experts from Brussels, Düsseldorf and Berlin (see Annex 4 of the CIRCTER report). These analysed the regional distribution of market segments of the Circular Economy with regards to turnover, employment and companies amongst other. The contribution describes the territorial relevance of the circular economic activities in the regions of the EU member states and Lichtenstein and Norway. A novel methodological approach was applied for the first time, a Big-Data analysis, to obtain regionally specific data on Circular Business Models.

Key policy messages from the CIRCTER project

The Circular Economy embodies a significant potential to reduce environmental damage, increase material and energy efficiency, and create new opportunities for companies and communities. Therewith the Circular Economy makes a critical contribution to sustainable development, as well as to climate mitigation. In its diversity, it is relevant to all regions while being realised differently according to the local context.

Recommendations for action

Looking ahead, policy should holistically exploit the potentials of the Circular Economy by investing in transformative projects that go beyond regulation compliancy. Industry and a modern industrial policy have hereby a key role. The European and national policy must strengthen interdisciplinary research approaches to systemic innovation, that also consider economic and social dimensions. Innovative, in many ways digital, circular business models, which are based on closed loops and resource efficiency, must be supported. In addition, incentives and regulative framework conditions need to be created, in order to allow for a smart and circularity focused product design, as recycling can only be as successful as the design permits. Incentives are provided by innovation platforms, which allow key stakeholders to interact and harvest synergies, as well as pilot and demonstration projects for, as of today, not economically recyclable material flows and research and development programmes for the material and product development. Only such a policy mix can provide the necessary long-term framework for a successful Circular Economy.


Individual reports can be found on the project website at

Final report: CIRCTER – Circular Economy and Territorial Consequences (PDF)

Policy brief: A territorial approach to transitioning towards a circular economy (PDF)


Dr. Jan-Philipp Kramer, Richard Simpson und Partner

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Prognos is one of the oldest economic research centres in Europe. Founded at the University of Basel, Prognos experts have been conducting research for a wide range of clients from the public and private sectors since 1959 – politically independent, scientifically sound.

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