The European Commission (EC) has highlighted Europe’s dependence on imports of many raw materials, and that reliable supplies of these are critical to its competitiveness.
Global trends show that competition for raw materials will increase in the future and that price levels are unpredictable.
The Commission has responded to these challenges with the Raw Materials Initiative (RMI) and the launch of the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials (EIPRM), which aims to accelerate innovation and research and development of breakthrough technologies by pulling together resources and using a multidisciplinary approach.
The EP has called for an integrated raw materials policy with more strategic coherence, as well as stronger recovery and recycling of electronic waste in the EU.
Industry welcomed the RMI but also signalled concerns about the coherence and contradictions of EU policy.
Member States and industry questioned the scope and objectives of the EIPRM proposal while agreeing that innovation is crucial in ensuring supplies of raw materials.