Fair and sustainable access to raw materials on global markets is the first pillar of the EU Raw Materials Initiative. The EU has committed to pursue a Raw Materials Diplomacy reaching out to third countries through strategic partnerships and policy dialogues.
A study on the support system for SME supply chain due diligence related to the Conflict Minerals Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2017/821) is now available.
The Commission finalised the study on support for SME supply chain due diligence in January 2018. Based on this, the Commission will deliver the online 'SMEs support system' by the end of 2019. We will promote the system across Europe in cooperation with stakeholders. It is aimed at EU SMEs that want to implement the OECD due diligence guidance for mineral supply chains from conflict-affected and high-risk areas. This is irrespective of whether they have obligations under the Conflict Minerals Regulation. The 'SMEs support system' will pay particular attention to the competitiveness aspects of SMEs applying supply chain due diligence.
The Raw Materials Diplomacy aims to establish dialogues with EU strategic partners in the area of raw materials. The cooperation is based on signed Letters of Intent or other political tools. The EU developed policy dialogues on raw materials with countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Greenland, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Russia or the United States and Uruguay.
The international raw materials markets should operate in a free and transparent way. However, many countries are applying measures - such as export taxes, import duties, price-fixing, and restrictive investment rules - which distort these markets and have a negative impact on manufacturing in the EU.