The vast transformation the circular economy that will occur in the upcoming years inevitably will change the EU panorama, designing new scenarios from an economical-social-environmental perspective. To best build a circular economy, it is necessary innovative policy-planning with a holistic and systemic perspective that fosters a cohesive and smooth transition to circular business models. This paper explores the impacts of circular economy policy design processes driven by a systemic design and how this expertise could ease innovative and effective paths for policy-planning on a circular transition in EU regions. This examination of systemic design features recent approaches to design as a discipline addressing complex problems, and the literature review on systems and design thinking for sustainable development, and policy design, focusing on existing barriers to circular economy. The discussion is narrowed to the specific case study in which the systemic design methodology is applied to provide a path for five European regions towards the CE: the Interreg Europe RETRACE (A Systemic Approach for Regions Transitioning towards a Circular Economy) project. Including an in-depth examination of how systemic design can address current barriers for a circular transition within an effect in the short, medium, and long-term policy horizon in the transition of the European regions towards the circular economy.
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