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REPowerEU - The role of CRMs in the EU's decoupling from Russian fossil fuels

On 18 May, the European Commission published its REPowerEU Plan, in order to reduce the EU’s dependency on Russian energy. The plan addresses the following issues:

  • Saving energy

  • Accelerating the rollout of renewables

  • Reducing fossil fuel consumption in industry and transport

  • Smart Investment

The Commission highlights the importance of critical raw materials in this plan, stating it will intensify work on the supply of critical raw materials and prepare a legislative proposal. The Commission will step up ongoing EU policies, reinforce the EU’s monitoring capacity, and help secure the supply of diverse CRMs. This initiative will aim to strengthen the European value chain through the identification of mineral resources and of CRM projects in the European strategic interest.

Member States have a clear role in reducing the EU's dependency on Russian gas, and the Commission provides guidance on how to best make use of the recovery and resilience plans, encouraging Member States to focus on the critical value chains in key materials and technologies linked to the green transition, to ensure the supply of raw materials in critical sectors.

Along with the publication of REPowerEU, the Commission also presented a Joint Communication on Defence Investment Gaps Analysis, in which CRMs are mentioned as part of an action to enhance European defence cooperation. According to the text, the Commission will propose a critical raw materials initiative, including legislative measures, to facilitate, inter alia, defence industry access to CRMs, thereby strengthening the EU‘s resilience and security of supply.

Further details on the legislative proposal and CRM initiatives should be disclosed soon.


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