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Belgian Presidency Conference on CRMs

On 26 March, the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU hosted an event with CRMs and Trade as main topics. The CRM Alliance attended to it and found several key takeaways from the panels:

  • Creating a leveled playfield. There is a need to advocate for conditions in which all participants in a particular industry on market have equal opportunities, rights, and obligations, which is often not achieved because of trade barriers, weaponisation of CRM-dependencies and unequal frameworks and standards that make EU industry relatively less competitive.

  • A need to detach and de-risk the supply chains from countries the EU is overdependent from.

  • Industry is calling for an urgent need of extra public financing and more streamlined permitting for not only the SRMs included in the CRM Act.

  • China and US are still ahead of the EU in their views and planning regarding securing CRMs. US is a lot more streamlined and China has been able to build integrated production chains where economic profit is not a requirement (unlike in the EU).

  • 3rd countries are highly open for foreign investment in mining industry; however, they also seek to build processing capabilities (not only being raw materials suppliers).

  • The EU has resumed the negotiations for a FTA with Philippines, with plans of expanding the strategic partnership network with countries in Southeast Africa and Africa (Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast).


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