On 18 March 2024, the Council of the European Union approved the new regulation to ensure a secure and diversified supply of critical raw materials for the EU. The legislative text is a key component of the European Green Deal and regulates, among other things, the extraction, processing and recycling of critical materials.

The rare earth resources are required to produce many common objects, such as mobile phones and electric vehicles. However, silicon for semiconductors and boron, which is essential to produce wind turbines, are also necessary raw materials for realizing the EU’s climate targets. 98% of Europe’s boron requirements are sourced from Turkey, while rare earths are currently exclusively imported from China. To make these unavoidable economic dependencies more crisis-proof, further international import suppliers of critical raw materials are to be tapped. In addition, at least 10% of the annual need for critical raw materials should be extracted within the EU by 2030, if possible.

The regulation lists 34 critical and 17 strategic raw materials for which the law is to be applied. The legislative package also sets binding deadlines for the approval procedures regarding the provision of funds. The law will enter into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Further information can be found in the press release on the official website of the Council of the EU and the European Council.


Source: European Council