New alliance to strengthen resilience of Europe's raw materials value chain

Submitted by Lee Gibson on 08 October 2020

The European Commission has launched the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA) to connect industrial actors, Member States and civil society to build resilience and strategic autonomy for the rare earths and magnets value chain in Europe.

The Alliance aims to identify barriers, opportunities and investment possibilities at all stages of the raw materials value chain - from mining to waste recovery - while at the same time addressing the sustainability and social impacts.

Vice President for Interinstitutional Relations, Maroš Šefčovič, said: “Our strategic foresight shows clearly that the demand for critical raw materials is only going to rise, especially given the ongoing transition towards a green and digital economy. The pandemic has also highlighted the criticality of raw materials for our recovery.

"To secure a sustainable supply of raw materials we need to join forces across Europe, as we have done for the European Union Battery Alliance.”

Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: ’’The European Raw Materials Alliance is an important step in strengthening the industrial ecosystems that depend on raw materials.

"The Alliance will accelerate the green and digital transition by reinforcing value chains, diversifying supplies and involving all willing partners in implementing the necessary actions.

"We invite all stakeholders, civil society organisations, researchers, companies large and small, Member States and regions, to help us achieve these objectives.” 

Announced in the EU Industrial Strategy, the Alliance is the first deliverable of the Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials. It will be managed by KIC-EIT RawMaterials, an EU-funded organisation and will be overseen by the Commission, in particular through the relevant high-level expert group, the  European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials.

The Alliance will be open to actors who subscribe to the objectives set out in the Alliance’s declaration: to make Europe economically more resilient by diversifying its supply chains, job creation, attracting investments, training young talents and contributing to the best framework for raw materials and the Circular Economy worldwide. 

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