Fri, 2014-06-20 19:06

The importance of the extractive industry to growth in the EU

Athens: Prof. Dr. Yannis Maniatis, Minister, Ministry of Energy, Environment and Climate Change, today opened the Raw Materials High Level Conference as part of the official programme of the Hellenic Presidency of the EU. The conference was organized under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Environment Energy and Climate Change, the European Economic and Social Committee and Euromines – the European Association of Mining Industries, Metal Ores & Industrial Minerals. In total more than 150 delegates attended this event.

In his speech Prof. Dr. Yannis Maniatis highlighted: “This is a very timely Initiative that comes at a moment in which the access to raw materials, guaranteed and undistorted, has become an increasingly important factor for EU industry competitiveness. The Greek Presidency, having established as its priority the fight against the current economic crisis and the search for a new, coordinated, EU industrial policy, gladly endorses this Conference.”

The conference “Maximising value: The Importance of the extractive industry to growth in the EU economy and its regions” was open by keynote speeches given by Mrs. Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries; Mr. Hans-Joachim Wilms, Vice-President of European Economic and Social Committee; Mr. Mark Rachovides, President of Euromines and Mr. Thomas Androulakis, Vice-President of IMA-Europe.

In the following session Mr. Gwenole Cozigou, Director General, Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry, European Commission, commented on the progress of the Raw Materials Initiative: the review of the Critical Raw Materials and the evaluation and exchange of good practices in Minerals Policy, Land-planning, and permitting of raw materials within the EU.

Securing reliable and undistorted access to raw materials is of continued concern both within the EU and globally. The past two years have seen at the heart of this work these two major projects. Having established an extended list of raw materials high level panelists from major EU companies in the sector discussed the relevance of this “critical” list for their business.

Equally a second panel discussed the way forward in implementing Mineral policies and related regulations in the Member States for attracting and facilitating new investments in the sector in Europe. Mostly unknown to the public there remains a large number of valuable raw materials deposits in Europe. Their sustainable exploitation can increase Europe’s supply of mineral resources, help to increase and diversify supply of raw materials from Europe’s downstream industries and thus through mineral extraction and manufacturing foster the growth of Europe’s Regions. Maintaining the value chain in Europe will also enable Europe to maintain and excel in technologies, also for export.

Many of the European mining regions are facing the same challenges; applying a high number of EU regulations, the need of exchange of information on European and regional level, the need for a closer interaction between companies and regional actors, and finding solutions for sustainable growth in the regions. Therefore speakers of the third conference session hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)  focused on one crucial issue - why regional development needs to integrate extractive industries to contribute to industrial growth and regional and national wealth.

“Europe is rich in natural resources. Our future is one where technological advances lead our industry, where regulation compliments growth and is born from a hard-won consensus for a better future” stressed in his speech Mr. Mark Rachovides, President of Euromines.

For more information please visit the conference web page:
or contact Veronika Sochorova, Euromines

Press Release