The Critical Raw Materials Act aims to reduce the administrative burden associated with obtaining raw materials.
The European Commission's new regulation responds to the increasing demand for critical and strategic raw materials needed for the transition to a low-carbon economy. Commissioners Valdis Dombrovskis and Thierry Breton who are behind the proposal, justified it by the current dependence of Europe on the import of critical raw materials from quasi-monopoly suppliers from third countries. This proposal should change the ratio of raw materials obtained in Europe, the portfolio of suppliers outside Europe, and the overall transparency of the entire process.
The Regulation sets clear benchmarks for domestic capacities along the strategic raw material supply chain and to diversify EU supply by 2030:
- At least 10% of the EU's annual consumption for extraction,
- At least 40% of the EU's annual consumption for processing,
- At least 15% of the EU's annual consumption for recycling,
- Not more than 65% of the Union's annual consumption of each strategic raw material at any relevant stage of processing from a single third country.
For the successful implementation of the proposal, synergies will be further created using programs focused on science and innovation. Specifically, the proposal mentions Horizon Europe and the Innovation Fund. A large-scale plan requires a high degree of coordination, for this purpose a Coordination Action Plan and a Strategic Implementation Plan will be created to help set priorities across the sector.
The proposal is to be further discussed in the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. All documents related to the proposal are available on the EC website.