Raw Materials Initiative

In 2008, the European Commission published its new Communication “The raw materials initiative — meeting our critical needs for growth and jobs in Europe” following its previous analysis of the competitiveness of the sector.  Today the EU even more so finds itself it needing to address this very important issue at the highest level in order ensure security of raw material supply for its economic growth and the economic recovery after the Covid-19 crisis.

DG Growth - The Raw Materials Initiative

Raw materials are essential for the sustainable functioning of all societies, equally so for the EU. Securing reliable and undistorted access to raw materials is increasingly becoming an important factor for the EU’s competitiveness and, hence, crucial to the success of the Lisbon Partnership for growth and jobs. Hence three policy areas were identified:

  1. Access to raw materials on world markets at undistorted conditions.
  2. Sustainable supply of raw materials from European sources.
  3. Increase of resource efficiency and promotion of recycling.

As had been laid out in the Commission’s report on the competitiveness of the sector the issues of access to these resources were manifold and varied from sub-sector to sub-sector.

Although some, not all EU Member States were and are pursuing specific policies, there had so far been no integrated policy response at the EU level to secure sufficient access to raw materials at competitive prices. The Commission therefore proposed in its Communication that the EU should agree on an integrated raw materials strategy. The whole Communication has three main chapters: 1. Analysis of supply and demand of non-energy raw materials; 2. The policy response: An integrated strategy and 3. The way forward.

DG Growth - The Raw Materials Initiative

Did you know?

Downstream users such as the construction, chemicals, automotive, aerospace, machinery and equipment sectors, providing a total value added of about €1.3 billion and employment for some 30 million people, all depend on access to raw materials.