EGARA’s spring Meeting was held in Helsinki this year. The morning conference counted three impressive, interesting speakers: Artemis Hatzi-Hull (EC, DG Environment), Anna-Maija Pajukallio (Senior Environmental Adviser, Head of Unit, Ministry of the Environment Finland) and Sirpa Pietikäinen (Member of the European Parliament, former Minister of Environment and Member of Finnish Parliament).

Artemis updated us about the efforts to get better data and more insight in the actual situations in member states. The Directive is implemented and in some cases infringement procedures were necessary to get the transposals done. The goals were (and still are): no abanadoned vehicles, more legal ATF’s, more treated ELV’s, less hazardous substances, new techniques and technologies. We still have 4 million ELV’s that are outside the reports, so it can be better. Points the EC focusses on: Environment, unfair competition, guidelines for export, reporting and vehicle registration systems. These items still cause challenges for the EC and they can use our help and insights.

Anna-Maija spoke about circular economy and POP’s. Finland wants to be a fore runner in circular economy. As vehicle dismantling and spare parts sales in itself are circular, this can give great advantage. Finland is implementing the legal framework and EPR and has now 200 permanent take back sites, which means it’s not only dismantlers handing out COD’s. Also temporary deregistration causes many missing vehicles. These seem a bigger problem than POP’s of which it’s still not sure what the amount is and where they have been used.

Sirpa started her speech stating our business is circular and sustainable and we are doing a great job we should be proud of. In the future many things will change, but if we adapt, there’s stil a place for us. She imaged the future in which the live standards have gone up, with more goods, mo re diversity and shorter life span of products. We need more resources than our planet can deliver, so we need to be circular, it’s not a choice. Also the business models will change from posession to accesability, service and performance. We need to ralize what it means to shift to performance instead of ownership. Logistics will be more important than it already is. Sirpa underlined that ELV’s need to go to ATF’s for the highest possible reuse and recycling instead of just shredding! If necessary, funding and tracking systems help to get all ELV’s in the EPR systems. Leaving the cycle must be prevented. We should join our forces to become circular within 30 years. If we have remarks and questions, she will treat them in the European Parliament.

It was e very fruitfull morning. For the Finnish it became very clear what the goals and vision of the EC and EP are. The Finnish policy has circular economy high on the agenda, so possibilities can be worked out. For EGARA the EP is a new way to represent the interests of our industry and we will for sure use this opportunity.

The Spring Meeting itself went as we are used to. All members were present. The board discharged the executive committee for the finances and actions. The vacancy in the excom was filled in w ith Michael Abraham from SBR so the organisation is complete again. Some issues were discussed, like End of Waste, POP’s and VAT. SALry did a great job hosting the annual EGARA meeting.

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Next Spring Meeting will be held in Estonia (May 25th), the Fall Meeting will be in November in Brussels again.