On 23 February, the European Commission published the second edition of the Commission Staff Working Document on EU strategic dependencies and capacities: second stage of in-depth reviews. The first edition was published on 5 May 2021, along with the publication of the New Industrial Strategy.
The Staff Working Document (SWD) reports on progress made in addressing the strategic dependencies identified in the first round and presents a second round of in-depth reviews covering new areas and in some cases building on the first round of reviews.
It complements the first edition by deepening the assessments related to raw and processed materials, focusing on rare earths and magnesium as well as the impact of raw material dependencies in the area of chemicals, as well as cloud and edge services, focusing on software capacities.
The SWD lists the following conclusions:
On REE and magnesium, the technological advancements that will determine the EU’s ability to reduce carbon emissions are dependent on access to CRMs.
Recently launched international partnerships will enable more diversified and resilient supply chains, notably in the area of CRMs.
Ongoing Industrial Alliances on batteries, hydrogen and raw materials are instrumental in strengthening European open strategic autonomy including by identifying investment needs and building project pipelines.
Important private and public investments have materialised, facilitated also by ongoing Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) supporting breakthrough innovations on batteries and semiconductors. Possible new IPCEIs on cloud, hydrogen and an additional one on semiconductors are being prepared by Member States.
EU funding (e.g. Recovery and Resilience Facility, Horizon Europe) is supporting investments and promoting innovation.
Significant steps have also been taken in collaboration with stakeholders to identify supply chain vulnerabilities in the area of active pharmaceutical ingredients and how to address them. In parallel, the Commission has put forward proposals to provide fit-for-purpose regulatory frameworks on semiconductors, hydrogen and batteries.