Critical raw materials package

ECON-VII/031

Critical raw materials package

Isolde RIES
Isolde RIES
Member
Mayor of West Saarbrücken District
 i.ries@landtag-saar.de
 +49 177 7020168
 DE
Commissions: ECON-VII , NAT-VII
 Adoption: 05/07/2023
ensure the role of local and regional administrations, which should be seen as important representatives of people potentially affected by strategic projects;
underline that sustainability standards and human rights and environmental due diligence requirements must be met in supply chains in a way that is consistent, competitive and low in red tape;
underline that skills and expertise in former and active mining regions can be important for the mining, production and processing of critical and strategic raw materials;
propose a more ambitious recycling capacity target of at least 20% of the annual consumption of strategic raw materials in the EU aiming at full circularity in future;
stress that the launch of research and extraction projects entails a major financial risk and that their planning, investment and operating costs may therefore be dependent on public financial support.
support the creation of the European Critical Raw Materials Board to monitor compliance with the directives; regrets, however, that the European Commission has not provided for an explicit role for European local and regional authorities in this Board; calls on the European Commission, therefore, to extend the membership of the European Critical Raw Materials Board to include a representative of European local and regional authorities, appointed by the CoR.
Assessment of Commission’s replies to the CoR CRMA opinion (the assessment is not taking into consideration the provisional agreement between the EP and the Council reached on 13 November).

Main topics:

The involvement of local communities and indigenous people: the EC says that rights of local communities and inhabitants are already secured by other EU legislation. The indigenous people are to be “duly consulted, involved in the permitting process, transparently informed and, where necessary, compensated”, which is not exactly true and the topic is raised also by the EP opinion.

Stockpiling the CRMs: The Commission recognises the role of local and regional authorities and will recommend consulting them. Although the EC does prescribe stockpiling or creating structures for that only to create a knowledge base about them.

Benchmarks for CRMs: the EC considers the CoR call to increase recycling of CRM to 20% as unrealistic, while the provisional agreement between the EP and the Council sets it even higher at 25%. The EC also cannot see the need for tracking every single CRM, what could prove to be shortsighted, as some of them have no replacements.

Compulsory consultation of national exploration programmes with LRAs: the EC would not like to interfere into internal regulations of MS but will recommend such consultations.

Confidentiality of deposits of CRMs: the EC suggest the CoR going too far, impairing the effectiveness of exploration.

Securing a seat in the CRM Board: the EC sees an important role and suggests the affected LRAs should be invited to sittings, but there is no permanent seat for the CoR. This would completely eliminate the CoR from further involvement in the process. Inviting affected LRAs is important in specific cases but keeping all LRAs involved can be secured only by the CoR.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

 underlines the role of local and regional administrations, which should be seen as important representatives of people potentially affected by strategic projects;
 underlines that sustainability standards and human rights and environmental due diligence requirements must be met in supply chains in a way that is consistent, competitive and low in red tape;
 underlines that skills and expertise in former and active mining regions can be important for the mining, production and processing of critical and strategic raw materials;
 welcomes, therefore, considering a more ambitious recycling capacity target of at least 20% of the annual consumption of strategic raw materials in the EU aiming at full circularity in future;
 believes that reducing the use of critical raw materials through efficiency gains along value chains must also be part of the solution for European security of supply;
 stresses that the launch of research and extraction projects entails a major financial risk and that their planning, investment and operating costs may therefore be dependent on public financial support.
 supports the creation of the European Critical Raw Materials Board to monitor compliance with the directives; regrets, however, that the European Commission has not provided for an explicit role for European local and regional authorities in this Board; calls on the European Commission, therefore, to extend the membership of the European Critical Raw Materials Board to include a representative of European local and regional authorities, appointed by the CoR.
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