23 May, 2023

Critical Raw Materials: Secure and sustainable supplies needed

Critical raw materials are the lifeblood of the global transition to a digital and green economy. They are indispensable for a wide set of strategic industries such as renewable energies, technology, space, security and defence, and are present in a wide range of everyday objects such as smartphones and electric vehicles. During this week’s meeting of the European Parliament Industry, Research and Energy Committee, European Parliament Vice-President Nicola Beer MEP (FDP, DE), set out guidelines for a European Critical Raw Materials Strategy to reduce the EU’s strategic dependencies and strengthen the open strategic sovereignty in an increasingly volatile world economy. 

As a staunch supporter of European industry and the twin green and digital transitions, Renew Europe advocates for addressing supply risks by strengthening and diversifying value chains with strategic trade alliances based on mutual benefits, where unilateral dependencies on third countries are left behind. It is also essential to boost investment in innovation and research to accompany the development of sustainable alternative materials and production methods on European soil, as well as foster refining and recycling capacities. Finally, the bureaucratic burden on companies should be lifted through reduced reporting, facilitating easier access to finance and shorter approval procedures for strategic critical raw materials projects. 

Beer, who is also Rapporteur on the Critical Raw Materials Act, declared: 

“With the European Parliament’s draft report on the Critical Raw Materials Act, Europe's sovereignty is no longer on shaky ground but on a solid foundation. The proposal accelerates towards European security of supply, with a research and innovation offensive for alternative materials and production methods along the entire value chain. It boosts companies, especially European SMEs - not through avalanches of subsidies, but by accelerating and simplifying approval processes, reducing bureaucratic hurdles and introducing risk guarantees. With targeted economic incentives for production and recycling in Europe as well as the expansion of strategic partnerships with third countries on an equal footing, the proposal paves the way for Europe's course towards open, economic and geopolitical sovereignty”. 

Photo credit: © European Union 2023 - Source : EP

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