Facing an ever-increasing global consumption of natural resources and related environmental as well as socioeconomic challenges, the transition towards a circular economy will be of crucial importance. The issue is high on the political agenda, especially since the European Commission published its Circular Economy Action Plan in December 2015. Apparently different stakeholders have very different perceptions of the concept as well as different expectations for its implementation. During a workshop series by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, experts from policy, science, administration, industry and unions discussed key issues for the circular economy: What´s the status quo in Germany? How can the circular economy be implemented in a comprehensive and efficient way? Which instruments are available? Is the legal framework on EU and national level sufficient for the evolvement of a circular economy? What is the role of the consumer? What are the economic potentials especially with regard to job creation? How can research and innovation policy contribute to this process? This paper aims to summarise the different discussions.