Today, Marko Pomerants, Estonian Minister of the Environment, met Markku Markkula, Chairman of the Committee of the Regions, who is currently visiting Estonia. The meeting focused on one of the environmental priorities of Estonian EU Presidency – eco-innovation. It was stressed that clear steps towards regional development must also be taken in the course of the Estonian Presidency.
Estonia will host a top-level assembly of ministers of the environment at the beginning of the Presidency on 13–14 July. The assembly will be dedicated to eco-innovation and climate. The development of eco-innovation has become a higher priority for us, as well as other EU states. The Committee of the Regions is also involved and has drawn up an overview of the best practices related to regional innovation ecosystems. Eco-innovation will also be focused on at the international conference organised in Tallinn at the end of October. Today’s meeting was mainly concerned with the nature of the cooperation between the Ministry of the Environment and the European Committee of the Regions in the context of these events and in the wider perspective.
Eco-innovation is promoted with an aim to support the development of a well-functioning circular economy. “Many undertakings are afraid of the risks accompanying innovation and would rather forego the added value gained by implementing innovations than try something new. Yet, we have our own success stories, which have even managed to cross the borders of Estonia,” said Marko Pomerants, Minister of the Environment, highlighting the Estonian ultracapacitor producer Skeleton Technologies as an example, which has been named among the 100 most influential developers of innovative and cleaner energy solutions for two years in a row.
By focusing on eco-innovation during the Presidency, it is hoped to achieve a significant breakthrough in the environmentally friendly, yet economically beneficial circular economy, which is also in compliance with the principles of sustainable consumption and production.
Cooperation with the European Committee of the Regions will significantly facilitate reaching the goal, as the local and regional networks established by the Committee help introduce eco-innovation to a wider audience. It also provides a good opportunity for involving several experts from Estonia and abroad.
The Committee of the Regions is an advisory body of the EU, which is formed of representatives elected at the local and regional level from all 28 member states. The Committee of the Regions allows them to better share their opinions about the EU legislation that has a direct impact on regions and cities.