In 2021, the European Commission wants to continue to focus on recycling and extending the lifespan of consumer electronics. In a policy plan for the coming year, the EC writes that it wants a ‘circular economy’, especially for devices such as mobile phones and laptops.
The plan of the European Commission fits within the European ‘Green Deal’, is stated in the vision for the EC for 2021. It contains the goals that Europe should work on in the near future. The Commission writes that it continues to pursue the implementation of a circular economic action plan by looking at ecological and sustainable product designs. The EC cites electronics as the most important example. The EC wants to continue to focus on the collection, reuse and repair of mobile telephones, laptops and other devices.
Concrete plans about how the EC wants to achieve these goals are missing from the policy plan. The European Commission has been working on plans for a longer period of time for consumers to use their electronics, such as requiring a replaceable battery and the long-drawn-out regulations surrounding universal chargers. The Commission also announced at the time that it wanted to come up with a plan to make telephones more ‘repairable’.
The plan also elaborates on the plans to make Europe digitally better. For example, the EC wants to draw up rules for the use of artificial intelligence and there must be a ‘Data law’ that regulates the sharing of data for citizens and companies. Member States will also continue to work on a ‘new European digital identity’ and Europe will continue to look at competition laws. The Commission does not specifically mention the large tech companies, although it is obvious that this is what they are talking about.