November 16
Our photo shows MPs Jan Jambon and Hendrik Wüst when signing the „Memorandum of Understanding" for the cooperation in the circular economy. Credit: Circular Valley / Jan Turek
NRW and Flanders now constitute the center of the Circular Economy
Minister Presidents Hendrik Wüst and Jan Jambon declared their cross-border cooperation in the circular economy at the Circular Valley Forum on Thursday (November 16). They want to study the topic together and „show that it is doable".
The summit of the circular economy began with a moment for the history books: at the Circular Valley Forum in Wuppertal the Minister Presidents of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and Flanders, Hendrik Wüst and Jan Jambon, signed the first „Memorandum of Understanding" for the cooperation of two regions in the circular economy. The German federal state and the Belgian region agreed to exchange know-how, start pilot projects, train skilled workers and jointly apply for funds. The agreement is explicitly open for more countries and regions.
The agreement is explicitly open
for more countries and regions.
The Netherlands are considered to be one of the ideal next partners.

NRW Minister President Wüst emphasized the importance of working across borders. No country can be successful in the circular economy on its own. The positive impact is closely related to size.

NRW and Flanders represent the largest industrialized metropolitan area in Europe and are therefore in an excellent position to initiate cooperation in the circular economy. „We want to show that it is possible", Wüst said. And it is vital to manage climate protection and preserve economic wealth simultaneously. Circular Valley Forum is doing important pioneer work for creating such a sustainable economy.

Flanders brings a lot of experience to the table. The region aims to decrease their „material footprint" by 30 per cent until 2030. „It is invaluable that we join forces now", said the flemish Minister President Jambon on Thursday. NRW and Flanders constitute the center of the circular economy in Europe and jointly strive to ensure the circular flow of materials as much as possible.

And with regard to Belgium presiding over the European Council in 2024, the circular economy will be an important topic, Jambon said. For example, a conference on circular economy is planned for April 17, 2024.

The signing of the cooperation of NRW and Flanders was the first highlight of the Circular Valley Forum. More than 1000 decision-makers discussed how far the transformation towards a circular economy has already progressed, what the current challenges are and what new ideas can be expected. Top representatives from politics, numerous senior executives and CEOs from well-established companies as well as important scientific institutions were present. Visitors are also inspired by 14 international startups, presenting their ideas for a circular economy at the Forum on DemoDay.
Guest list
The participants of the Circular Valley Forum include Nanette Braun from the United Nations, Christian Kullmann (Evonik), Gunther Adler (Autobahn GmbH des Bundes), Dr. Jürgen Tzschoppe (Statkraft Norway), Henrik Ahlers (Ernst & Young Germany), Rolf Buch (Vonovia), Marc Ehrhardt (BASF Corporation USA), Prof. Dr. Manfred Fischedick (Wuppertal Institute), Prof. Dr. Walter Leitner (Max Planck Institute), Heike Prinz (Henkel), Prof. Dr. Lambert T. Koch (German University Association), Surendra Patawari (Gemini Corporation Belgium/India), Patrick Wendeler (BP Europe) and Sir Tony Cragg.
Further information
The images can be used free of charge for reporting on DemoDay.

Source: Jan Turek / Circular Valley
Media Contacts:

Clara Hennings
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