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European Parliament discusses CRM Act

On 15 February, during the Plenary session in Strasbourg, the European Parliament held a debate on the upcoming Critical Raw Materials (CRM) Act. The debate hosted Commissioner for Financial Services Mairead McGuinness and Swedish Minister for EU Affairs Jessika Roswall.

Both the Council and the Commission shared that the EU must diversify its critical raw material imports while exploring domestic supplies and reuse.

Minister Roswall acknowledged the EU’s supply chain vulnerabilities and welcomed the Commission’s intention behind the CRM Act. The Swedish Presidency believes that there is a clear need for CRM exports for modern and future manufacturing. High environmental and labour standards throughout the supply chain are crucial, and Ms. Roswall acknowledged that some of these strategic raw materials could be sourced in the EU, while respecting such standards. Improving circularity and reducing material waste remains a priority for the Swedish government when it comes to CRMs.

Commissioner McGuinness brought up the structural challenge facing the European economy and highlighted the importance of strengthening international relationships to secure a more diversified supply of CRMs. She stressed the need for investment to achieve these goals, through private and public financing. Moreover, Commissioner McGuinness outlined four pillars of a new Critical Raw Materials Act:

  1. listing critical raw materials

  2. strengthening certain value chains

  3. circular manufacturing

  4. governance and risk-preparedness

The latest Commission Agenda indicates that the publication of the CRM Act has been postponed to 14 March 2023, on the same day as the Net Zero Industry Act.

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