Critical Raw Materials Act on the Finishing Line

by | 18. Mar 2024 - 14:33 | Politics

The EU Council gives final approval—the first Europe-wide law on the supply of critical minerals comes into force in a few weeks.

The EU Council, representing the 27 Member States, today approved the first European law on the supply of critical raw materials (CRMA). This is the final step in the decision-making process, according to the press release; the law will now come into force in just a few weeks before being published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

The CRMA focuses on 34 critical materials, 17 of which are also strategic and classified as crucial for the ecological and digital transformation and the defense and space industries. The central objectives of the new law relate to the annual consumption of these raw materials in the EU: by 2030, 10 percent are to be covered by domestic mining, 40 percent are to be processed in the EU, and 25 percent are to come from recycling. In addition, the association of states is dependent on imports from a single third country for a maximum of 65% of each strategic raw material. Other requirements include significantly accelerated approval procedures for raw material projects such as mines, supply chain risk assessments, and national exploration plans.

Just under a year has passed since the CRMA was first presented; after the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s attack on Ukraine exposed major dependencies in European supply chains, securing raw materials moved high up the political agenda.

An overview of the objectives of the Critical Raw Materials Act and which raw materials are in focus can be found here.

Photo: iStock/artJazz

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