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Tracing the course: The development of the EU’s Critical Raw Materials Act

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The journey to enacting the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) in the EU has been a lengthy one, spanning over a decade. Despite the EU’s initial identification of Critical Raw Materials in 2011, which included 14 items, it took considerable time to formulate, garner political support, and finally announce the CRMA in September 2022.

Following the proposal’s official presentation by the EU Commission in March 2023, as part of the Green Deal Industrial Plan for the Net-Zero Age, the EU Parliament endorsed it in December of the same year. Subsequently, in March 2024, the EU Council granted approval and adoption of the act, with expectations for it to become law in May 2024.

While the European Commission touts a record time for achieving political consensus on the CRMA, the reality is that the European Council required 14 discussion meetings before the law’s adoption. Additionally, the relevant specialist committee of the European Parliament navigated through 1,172 amendments proposed for the CRMA, with 107 eventually put to vote.

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Despite these challenges, the successful passage of the act stands as a significant achievement for the EU. It promises to fortify critical raw materials supply chains for years to come, although it may not be without anticipated obstacles, in our assessment.

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