In March 2023, the European Commission proposed a Regulation on Critical Raw Materials to ensure the EU’s access to a secure, diversified, affordable and sustainable supply of critical raw materials. Critical raw materials are indispensable for a wide set of strategic sectors including the net zero industry, the digital industry, aerospace, and defense sectors. The EU is de facto highly dependent on imports of “high-tech” metals such as cobalt, platinum, rare earths, and titanium. The Regulation identified 34 raw materials as being “Critical” while another 16 are “Strategic”. Click here for more details
“This Regulation is nothing new, it’s the rollover of what the European Union has done every two to four years that is to update its list of critical raw materials. However, what is different in this Regulation touches on two aspects: first, it is anchored to promote the EU Green Deal and in particular its agenda on green and digital transition; and secondly, it also outlines possible Strategic Partnerships with key producers of critical raw materials”, explains Junior Lodge, Assistant Secretary General, Structural Economic Transformation and Trade, of the OACPS Secretariat.
Four specific objectives are being targeted by the EU Regulation on Critical Raw Materials, which was adopted in September 2023 :
- to strengthen EU’s capacities along the different stages of the value chain;
- to diversify EU’s imports of raw materials;
- to improve monitoring and risk mitigation capacities; and
- to ensure a well-functioning single market while improving the sustainability and circularity of critical raw materials.
During their 116 Session, that took place from 19 to 20 July 2023, the OACPS Council of Ministers mandated the Committee of Ambassadors and Secretary-General to prepare an OACPS position paper outlining options for an OACPS approach to the EU Regulation on Critical Raw Materials and in this respect, to convene as soon as possible an OACPS Experts meeting that would submit concrete proposals and recommendations on issues of strategic interest to the Members of the OACPS.
This OACPS Experts meeting will be held in Zambia in a few days, as confirmed by Mr. Lodge in the video below: (ENGLISH ONLY)