Commission seeks views on the future European Critical Raw Materials Act

To deliver the green and digital transitions, the EU must significantly increase and diversify its critical raw materials supply, strengthen circularity and support research and innovation. The European Critical Raw Materials Act will aim to reinforce EU monitoring capacities and strengthen both the EU value chain – by identifying mineral resources and raw materials projects which are in the EU's strategic interest and which have a strong environmental dimension – and EU external policies on CRMs.

The European Commission has launched a call for evidence and a public consultation with a view to the European Critical Raw Materials Act, which was announced by Ms von der Leyen during her 2022 State of the Union address.

Interested parties are invited to provide comments and evidence and reply to questions on current problems affecting the critical raw materials supply chain within and outside the EU and how to address them. The questions cover the different stages of the value chain, from extraction to processing and recycling.

The Critical Raw Materials Act will aim to identify the policy actions needed to develop strategic projects which will strengthen EU supply chains while maintaining a sustainable level playing field. This legislative act will be complemented by a communication presenting other initiatives to facilitate supply diversification: this will entail action with third countries, including trade, cooperation and industrial strategic agreements, which could take the form of partnerships, sectoral agreements or multilateral initiatives.

Critical raw materials are essential for the deployment of the technologies enabling the green and digital transitions. For instance, rare earths are key components of the permanent magnets used to manufacture wind turbines, lithium or cobalt are used in battery manufacturing, and polysilicon is used for semi-conductors. The acceleration of the green and digital transitions will increase European and global demand for those materials and the EU must ensure that it can secure the critical raw materials it will need in the future.

Interested parties can provide their input until 25 November 2022. For more information, call Sonya Gospodinova or Federica Miccoli.