As the world transitions to green energy and greater technology use, critical raw materials (CRMs) are the new frontier of economic and political disputes.
The EU has recognised this threat to supply chains, passing the European Critical Raw Materials Regulation to help stabilise EU access to CRMs. Published in March 2023, the regulation seeks to improve EU extraction, processing and recycling capacity with minimal reliance on other states. However, the EU has limited sources of many CRMs, and so strategic projects in third countries will be utilised to ensure that EU demand is met.
This paper discusses the possible impact of this regulation on developing economies, exploring how they will be affected by strategic projects, shifting EU import demand, and circularity incentives.