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Critical raw material act: Council adopts negotiating position

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

The Council has today adopted its position ('negotiating mandate') on the proposed regulation establishing a framework to ensure a secure and sustainable supply of critical raw materials, better known as the

Critical Raw Materials Act. This regulation harnesses the strengths of both the Single Market and partnerships to diversify critical raw material supply chains, which currently rely on imports from a handful of third countries.

The Council position raises the level of ambition for recycled and processed raw materials, reinforces sustainability criteria, adapts the process of granting permits and explores obligations on the member states to ensure account is taken of their different situations.

Ensuring supply from home and abroad

The proposed regulation explores the issue's internal and external dimensions to ensure the supply of raw materials that are critical for our economy, and in particular for the green and digital transitions. The Commission proposal established four objectives to increase the contribution of European raw materials:

*at least 10% of the EU's annual consumption to come from EU extraction

*at least 40% of the EU's annual consumption to come from EU processing

*at least 15% of the EU's annual consumption to come from domestic recycling

*not more than 65% of the Union's annual consumption of each strategic raw material at any relevant stage of processing to come from a single third country

To achieve these objectives, the regulation establishes a list of 34 critical raw materials, including 16 that are also considered of strategic importance, and several measures to reduce the risks of our current dependencies. These measures include simplifying permit procedures for projects that are considered strategic, with national designated contact points, risk analysis, member states' exploration plans, investment in research, innovation and skills and protecting the environment by promoting the circularity and sustainability of raw materials.

On the global stage, the regulation identifies measures to diversify imports of critical raw materials. These include strengthening engagement and creating partnerships with reliable countries to promote their development, while ensuring supply chains for Europe.

The regulation establishes the creation of an advisory body, the European Critical Raw Materials Board, to advise the Commission on the selection of strategic projects and other aspects of the regulation."" Read more in link to Press release..."

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