The ‘Critical Raw Materials Act’ sets goals to reduce the European Union’s dependence on external suppliers, especially from China, in crucial materials for technology and the transition towards more sustainable practices.
The European Parliament and Council approved on November 13th a law aimed at ensuring the supply of key materials, such as lithium, germanium, copper, and 34 other essential elements. The so-called ‘Critical Raw Materials Act‘ sets objectives to reduce the EU’s dependence on external suppliers, especially from China, in crucial materials for technology and the transition towards more sustainable practices.
This legislation, known in Brussels as the ‘Strategic Raw Materials Law,’ identifies 34 raw materials, including minerals like lithium, cobalt, copper, germanium, and magnesium, which will be a priority for the Union due to their strategic importance. It has been agreed that 10% of these materials will be extracted within the EU’s borders, 40% will be processed within the territory, and 25% will be recycled once the products containing them are discarded.
Additionally, measures have been implemented to prevent more than 65% of the Union’s total consumption from a single supplier country. This regulation foresees a periodic review of the covered components and reserves the possibility of expanding or modifying the list of critical and strategic materials.
The provisional agreement, still subject to final approval, establishes that an assessment will be carried out within three years of its entry into force. It is expected that the Commission will present a detailed report on the projected consumption of these materials in the next three decades, focusing on their use in devices such as smartphones, wind turbines, or electric vehicles.
The Third Vice President of the Spanish Government in office and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera Rodríguez, highlighted the importance of this law in strengthening Europe’s strategic autonomy. Ribera asserts that this measure will transform the current weakness into strength, promoting a European extractive sector and sustainable resource management while securing the life of the European industry.