Raw Materials Initiative
In 2008 the European Commission launched its first communication on raw materials – The Raw materials Initiative (RMI). The principal aim of this initiative is to assure access of European industry to raw materials. The European Commission argues that the main obstacle for access are the increased restrictions imposed by some countries on export by quotas and/or taxes to protect there own industry. Therefore the EC insists on the need of the elimination of all export restrictions. The initiative also stresses the importance of decreasing the dependency of Europe on the import of RM by promoting recycling and substitution. In 2011 the European Commission published a second communication on the Raw Materials Initiative, taken into account some of the observations that had been made on its policy proposal of 2008.
- The Raw Materials Initiative. Meeting our critical needs for growth and jobs in Europe. European Commission. 2008.
- Tackling the challenges in commodity markets and on Raw Materials. European Commission. 2011.
- Defining critical raw materials. Report of the Ad-hoc Working Group on defining critical raw materials. European Commission. July 2010.
More documents of the EC related to the Raw Materials Initiative:
The European Raw Materials Initiative has to be seen as a major policy tool of the European Union in relation to the governance of natural sources worldwide. It has a significant influence on European trade and investment policies, on European Resource Efficiency and on several other policies related to the access and use of the natural resources and fiscal incomes generated by extractive industries like transparency, and social and environmental impacts.
Concerned about some considerable negative impacts the implementation of the European RMI could have on development opportunities and the governance of natural resources in the South, several European NGO’s engaged in the publication of critical reports on the RMI with recommendations related to more coherence between the RMI and European development policy.
- Shopping for raw materials. Should Africa be worried about EU Raw Materials Initiative? ECPDM Discussion Paper, feb 2011
- The raw materials race. How The EU Uses Trade agreements to grab resources in Africa. Forum Syd. Nov 2010.
- The New Resource Grab: How EU Trade Policy on Raw Materials is Undermining Development. COMHLAMH. Nov 2010
After the launch of the second communication in February 2011, European Parliament started drafting an own report on Raw Materials which was finished and approved in June 2011. This is a very interesting report on how the European Union can assure the provision of raw materials and at the same time contribute to better governance of natural resources and sustainable development in the South. Most of the critics and suggestions of the NGO’s related to the Raw Materials Initiative of the European Commission have been integrated in this report. The report offers interesting views and concrete proposals for reshaping of redefining European policies related to the use of raw materials, to diminish its dependency on imports and to be coherent with European Development Policy.