THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
takes the view that the EU needs a strong industrial base, which, due to the commitments regarding the transition to a low-carbon economy and increasing digitalisation, is heavily dependent on having an adequate supply of raw materials and efficient use and recycling of these materials;
welcomes the European Commission's presentation of an Action Plan for Critical Raw Materials;
supports the objectives set out in the action plan: developing resilient industrial value chains in the EU, reducing dependency on critical raw materials through circular use of resources, sustainable products and innovation, strengthening domestic sourcing of raw materials in the European Union, diversifying sourcing from third countries, and removing distortions to international trade in a WTO-compatible way;
particularly supports the new European Raw Materials Alliance, which aims to increase EU resilience throughout the rare earths and magnets value chain; welcomes the fact that this alliance is open to all relevant stakeholders, including the regions;
stresses that much more use should be made of recycled materials in order to reduce the use of primary and critical raw materials; calls on the European Commission to look into competitive criteria whereby new products should, where possible, contain a substantial proportion of recycled materials;
stresses that, to the extent possible, the EU must also obtain raw materials from its own sources in the long term and develop forward-looking development strategies;
emphasises that the regions have a fundamental role to play, thanks to their expertise in this area; points out that raw materials for batteries can be found in the EU in a number of coal regions, as well as in other regions, and that mining waste is often rich in critical raw materials.