More European mining and the expansion of recycling should make Europe less dependent on raw material imports. The Critical Raw Materials Act, which today cleared another hurdle in the complex process of EU legislation (PDF), could make this binding. The European Parliament’s Industry Committee members approved the provisional agreement reached in mid-November, meaning that the Council of the EU, which represents the 27 member states of the Union, can now formally approve it.
However, it could still take a few months before the law comes into force; the multinational law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer expects it to be published in the Official Journal of the EU in March. It would come into force 20 days later and apply directly to all EU member states. By then, the Raw Materials Act could already be celebrating its birthday: the first draft was presented on March 16 this year.
Industry representatives welcomed the aims of the draft legislation but also pointed out weaknesses. For example, the news website Euractiv quotes Evangelos Mytilineos, President of the industry association Eurometaux, saying that too few incentives are created for investments in the necessary raw materials.
An overview of the objectives of the Critical Raw Materials Act and which raw materials are in focus can be found here.