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EU cannot sleepwalk into overdependence in raw materials security - Maroš Šefčovič

12 September 2022 17:34 (UTC+04:00)
EU cannot sleepwalk into overdependence in raw materials security - Maroš Šefčovič

By Trend

EU cannot sleepwalk into another overdependence in a strategic area – especially given the ongoing geopolitical shifts with rivalry being pushed to new domains and literally everything being weaponized, European Commission’s Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said at the Raw Materials Security of Europe Conference, Trend reports.

He pointed out that in order to produce the expected 30 million electric vehicles by 2030, EU will need 10,000 tons of permanent magnets, requiring 3,000 tons of rare earths – the vast majority of which is imported from China.

“Similarly, while Europe leads the production of wind turbines and electrolysers – with our global market share of some 58 percent and 62 percent, respectively – we fall behind on the critical raw materials needed for these two technologies,” said the European Commission’s Vice-President.

Šefčovič noted that critical raw materials are strategic commodities and their supply can no longer be governed by market forces alone.

“As part of the RePowerEU plan put forward in May, we are preparing a legislative proposal on critical raw materials. It will build on the positive initiatives made by the Commission in cooperation with Member States and industry, namely the Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials from 2020, and the European Raw Materials Alliance, modelled on our Battery Alliance,” he explained.

The European Commission’s Vice-President believes that the new approach should help source primary raw materials at home to avoid risky overdependence on third countries.

“It should also help us scale up the capacity of our recycling industry, fully implement a circular economy, and invest in research and innovation.We also need to mobilise greater levels of financing in this sector and help de-risk strategic European projects. Another important element is to increase our security of supply by boosting monitoring, and by looking into various stockpiling options. Finally, we must make the raw materials value chain more sustainable by reducing its environmental and social footprints,” he added.

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