Selected raw materials (critical raw materials like several metals) are crucial for the green and digital transition of the EU. The war in Ukraine has once again highlighted the importance of a stable supply in those critical raw materials to strengthen the resilience of Europe’s supply chains overall. At the same time, while we are progressing on the twin transition path towards a greener and a more digital future, securing a sustainable supply of a broad array of resources is more crucial than ever.
Against this background, critical raw materials were included in the six sectors defined as strategic in the Versailles Declaration of March 2022. During this summit, the heads of State and Government agreed to reduce the Union’s dependencies in those sectors by defining concrete and specific European production targets using different levers (financial, regulatory and industrial).
In its REPowerEU Communication of May 2022, the Commission mentioned it was working on a critical raw materials initiative, whose content was further clarified during the Competitiveness Council of the 9h of June. In her State of the Union Speech, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, confirmed such initiative and insisted on the necessity to secure our supplies in order to successfully implement the green and digital transitions.
To contribute to the Commission’s work, France and Germany have worked on a joint position on a corresponding EU legislation. This common Franco-German proposal was submitted to the European Commission and presented today to the European member states at the Competitiveness Council (29th of September).
In particular, France e and Germany would favour a critical raw materials (CRM) legislation articulated around three pillars:
- Strengthen the crisis management of CRM supplies, including the establishment of an early warning system to anticipate shortages of strategic inputs and provisions on the implementation of a stockpiling / joint purchasing policy, as well as legal incentives for diversification, balancing benefits and risks of such policies.
- Check and evaluate existing financing instruments to support the necessary investments in projects for the production of raw materials and critical metals (mines, refineries, and recycling capacities) within the Union and outside it; Consider the creation of a sovereign public/private investment fund, combining equity, loans and guarantees, in order to invest in mining, refinery, primary processing and recycling projects; enhance circular economy, recycling and substitution
Ensure a global level-playing field, fair-trade and sustainable market framework based on high ESG Standards, including the extension of key provisions of the EU regulatory framework for batteries to other product groups
Minister Roland Lescure and :
We will fully support the EC with its Critical Raw Material Act. Like in all energy security issues strong European measures are necessary to secure a sustainable supply of critical raw materials for the EU. It is important that we identify strategic projects along the supply chain (mining, processing, recycling), support those also with our international partners and focus in particular on actions helping “closing the loop” of the circular economy by 2050.