Critical raw materials are indispensable for a wide set of strategic sectors including the net zero industry, the digital industry, aerospace, and defence sectors.
While demand for critical raw materials is projected to increase drastically, Europe heavily relies on imports, often from quasi-monopolistic third country suppliers. The EU needs to mitigate the risks for supply chains related to such strategic dependencies to enhance its economic resilience, as highlighted by shortages in the aftermath of the Covid-19 and the energy crisis following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This can put at risk the EU's efforts to meet its climate and digital objectives.
The Regulation and Communication on critical raw materials adopted today leverage the strengths and opportunities of the Single Market and the EU's external partnerships to diversify and enhance the resilience of EU critical raw material supply chains. The Critical Raw Materials Act also improves the EU capacity to monitor and mitigate risks of disruptions and enhances circularity and sustainability.
President of the European Commission, Ursulavon derLeyen said: “This Act will bring us closer to our climate ambitions. It will significantly improve the refining, processing and recycling of critical raw materials here in Europe. Raw materials are vital for manufacturing key technologies for our twin transition – like wind power generation, hydrogen storage or batteries. And we're strengthening our cooperation with reliable trading partners globally to reduce the EU's current dependencies on just one or a few countries. It's in our mutual interest to ramp up production in a sustainable manner and at the same time ensure the highest level of diversification of supply chains for our European businesses.”
Together with the reform of the electricity market design and the Net Zero Industry Act, today's measures on critical raw materials create a conducive regulatory environment for the net-zero industries and the competitiveness of European industry, as announced in the Green Deal Industrial Plan.
For More Information
- Publication date
- 16 March 2023
- Representation in Ireland