Critical raw materials act

Briefing 27-09-2023

Critical raw materials

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. On 14 September, Parliament adopted its position for trilogue negotiations with the Council, which had endorsed its mandate on 30 June 2023. Negotiations then started on 20 September. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.