MEPs and the Spanish presidency of the Council agreed on plans to boost the supply of strategic raw materials.

The Critical Raw Materials Act is intended to make the EU more competitive and sovereign. It aims to cut red tape, promote innovation along the entire value chain, support SMEs and boost research and the development of alternative materials and more environmentally-friendly mining and production methods.

The legislation will set up economic incentives and a more stable and secure business framework for the deployment of mining and recycling projects, with faster and simpler authorisation procedures.

During negotiations, MEPs highlighted the importance of securing strategic partnerships between the EU and third countries on critical raw materials, in order to diversify the EU’s supply, with benefits for all sides. They secured measures to pave the way for long-term partnerships with knowledge- and technology-transfer, training and upskilling for new jobs with better working and income conditions, as well as extraction and processing on the best ecological standards in partner countries.

MEPs also pushed for a stronger focus on research and innovation concerning substitute materials and production processes that could replace raw materials in strategic technologies. They secured the establishment of circularity targets to foster the extraction of more strategic raw materials from waste products. MEPs also insist on the need to cut red tape for companies, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Next step: The informal agreement now needs to be approved by both Parliament and Council in order to become law. It will be put to a vote in the Industry, Research and Energy committee on the 7th of December.

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