Raw materials are essential for the sustainable functioning of all societies, equally so for the EU. Securing reliable and undistorted access to raw materials is increasingly becoming an important factor for the EU’s competitiveness and, hence, crucial to the success of the Lisbon Partnership for growth and jobs. Hence three policy areas were identified:
- Access to raw materials on world markets at undistorted conditions.
- Sustainable supply of raw materials from European sources.
- Increase of resource efficiency and promotion of recycling.
As had been laid out in the Commission’s report on the competitiveness of the sector the issues of access to these resources were manifold and varied from sub-sector to sub-sector.
Although some, not all EU Member States were and are pursuing specific policies, there had so far been no integrated policy response at EU to secure sufficient access to raw materials at competitive prices. The Commission therefore proposed in its Communication that the EU should agree on an integrated raw materials strategy. The whole Communication has three main chapters: 1. Analysis of supply and demand of non-energy raw materials; 2. The policy response: An integrated strategy and 3. The way forward.