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Critical Raw Materials: MEPs Back Plans to Secure EU's Own Supply and Sovereignty

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The European Parliament's Industry Committee has given its resounding support to a comprehensive plan aimed at securing the European Union's access to critical raw materials, essential for its transition to a sustainable, digital, and sovereign future.

The newly adopted Critical Raw Materials Act, passed with a strong majority, represents a significant step forward in ensuring the EU's autonomy and competitiveness. Key highlights of the plan include reducing bureaucratic hurdles, stimulating innovation throughout the raw material value chain, bolstering support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and advancing research into alternative, environmentally-friendly materials and mining practices.

One critical aspect emphasized in the report is the importance of establishing strategic partnerships between the EU and third countries to diversify the supply of critical raw materials. These partnerships are envisioned to be mutually beneficial, fostering knowledge transfer, job training, and environmentally responsible extraction and processing standards.

Additionally, MEPs are pushing for a greater focus on researching substitute materials and production methods to reduce reliance on critical raw materials in strategic technologies. The plan also sets targets for promoting the extraction of strategic raw materials from waste, thus enhancing circularity in resource usage.

Lead MEP Nicola Beer (Renew, DE) stated, "The Industry Committee sends a strong signal ahead of the trilogue. The agreed report provides a clear blueprint for European security of supply, with a research and innovation boost along the entire value chain." She highlighted the plan's commitment to simplifying approval processes, reducing red tape, and encouraging private investment in European production and recycling.

The draft legislation sailed through the committee with a vote of 53 in favor, 1 against, and 5 abstentions. It will now proceed to a vote by the full European Parliament during the plenary session scheduled for September 11-14 in Strasbourg.

In a world increasingly reliant on critical raw materials for electric vehicles, solar panels, and smartphones, the European Union's efforts to secure its supply have gained paramount importance. These raw materials are not only crucial for the EU's green and digital transitions but also for its economic resilience, technological leadership, and strategic autonomy. Geopolitical tensions and the global shift towards renewable energy sources have further underscored the need for Europe to safeguard its access to these essential resources.



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