Non-energy raw materials
Non-energy raw materials are vital inputs for the EU’s economy, and are particularly crucial for the development of modern environmentally friendly technologies such as electric cars and photovoltaics.
However, as global raw material markets are increasingly distorted by protectionist trade policies, maintaining fair and undistorted access to these materials for EU industry and citizens is increasingly difficult. Within the EU, exploration and extraction have to face increased competition for different land uses and a highly regulated environment. There are also important challenges to overcome in improving how Europe can increase the recovery of materials from waste.
On 2 February 2011 the European Commission adopted a new strategy document which sets out targeted measures to secure and improve access to raw materials for the EU. Based on the first Communication on the Raw Materials Initiative published in November 2008, this new strategy document further pursues and reinforces the 3 pillar-based approach to improving access to Raw Materials for Europe. These pillars are:
1. Fair and sustainable supply of raw materials from international markets
2. Fostering sustainable supply within the EU
3. Boosting resource efficiency and promote recycling
This new strategy also covers important considerations relating to the stability and transparency of commodity prices.
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