Critical Raw Materials: how can the EU achieve a reliable, secure & resilient supply?

High-Level Roundtable in Brussels

A discussion with:
Franc Bogovič MEP, EEF Director
Moderated by Pascale Verheust, EEF Director General

The High-Level Roundtable of 2023 on the Critical Raw Materials Act was chaired by Franc Bogovič MEP, Board Member of the EEF, REGI Rapporteur for Opinion on the proposal.

Mr Bogovič reminded us that critical raw materials are linked to many sectors such as energy transition, but also space, defence, electro-mobility, to name only a few. He emphasized that the Act must ensure EU’s access to a secure and sustainable supply of critical raw materials given the high demand and the unstable geopolitical environment, which will continue to impact their long-term supply.

He underlined various relevant aspects of the legislation such as the importance of the monitoring mechanism for supply chains and the good cooperation framework with third countries, to improve coordination, collaboration and information exchange. He also focused on the need for easier access to financing and smoother permitting procedures.

MEP Bogovič stressed the importance of local and regional communities’ involvement in all stages of the critical raw materials projects. He explained that acceptance and consensus at local level are key factors to be successful. In this light, the EU should also try to limit the negative environmental and social impacts of access to raw materials.

Many Associate Members of the EEF were present, representing many diverse sides of the industry. They had the opportunity to exchange, listen and share their different point of view on the topic.

The debate covered a broad range of issues related to the proposal, including the urgency of the file, permitting and financing aspects, new additions to the critical raw materials list, the importance of regulatory coherence, the involvement of regions in the management of projects as well as EU recycling targets and capacity.