Members' Research Service By / May 19, 2023

Critical raw materials act [EU Legislation in Progress]

Over past centuries, humanity has used an increasing number of known elements, in particular metals, to foster technological innovation.

© El Gabia / Adobe Stock

Written by Guillaume Ragonnaud (2nd edition, updated on 08.09.2023).

The EU’s ambition to become a climate-neutral economy by 2050, and its ability to sustain the green and digital transition and achieve strategic autonomy, all rely heavily on reliable, secure and resilient access to critical raw materials (CRMs). On 16 March 2023, the Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation on CRMs. It introduces the concept of strategic raw materials (SRMs), which are key for some strategic technologies and vulnerable to shortages. The general objective of the proposed regulation is to improve the functioning of the single market by establishing a framework to ensure the EU’s access to a secure and sustainable supply of CRMs. To achieve this, the regulation would pursue four specific objectives: strengthening the whole SRM value chain; diversifying the EU’s imports of SRMs (so that by 2030, no third country would provide more than 65 % of the EU’s annual consumption of each SRM); improving the EU’s ability to monitor and mitigate the CRM supply risk; ensuring the free movement of CRMs and products containing CRMs placed on the EU market and ensuring a high level of environmental protection, by improving their circularity and sustainability.

The proposal is now in the hands of the co-legislators. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) is responsible for the file. It adopted its report on 7 September 2023. The report is due to be put to the vote in plenary in September 2023, fixing the Parliament’s position for negotiations with the Council, which adopted its mandate on 30 June 2023.


Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for ensuring a secure and sustainable supply of critical raw materials and amending Regulations (EU) 168/2013, (EU) 2018/858, 2018/1724 and (EU) 2019/1020
Committee responsible:Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE)COM(2023)160
Rapporteur:Nicola Beer (Renew, Germany)2023/0079(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs:Hildegard Bentele (EPP, Germany)
Mohammed Chahim (S&D, the Netherlands)
Henrike Hahn (Greens/EFA, Germany)
Izabela-Helena Kloc (ECR, Poland)
Marie Dauchy (ID, France)
Cornelia Ernst (The Left, Germany)
Ordinary legislative procedure (COD)
(Parliament and Council on equal footing
– formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Vote in plenary
timeline-10 steps-voted in plenary

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