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European Critical Raw Materials Act enters into force

Today, 23 May, marks the entry into force of the European Critical Raw Materials Act, which aims at ensuring a diverse, secure and sustainable supply of critical raw materials for the EU’s industry.

The Act establishes benchmarks to increase capacities for extraction, processing and recycling of critical raw materials in the EU and guide diversification efforts. In addition, it creates a framework to select and implement Strategic Projects, which can benefit from streamlined permitting and enabling conditions for access to finance; as well as sets out national requirements to develop exploration programmes in Europe. Moreover, the Regulation will improve the circularity and the efficient use of the critical raw materials by creating value chains for recycled critical raw materials. To ensure the resilience of the supply chains, the Act allows the monitoring of critical raw materials supply chains and information exchange and future coordination on strategic raw materials stocks among Member States and large companies.

“Today, with the entry into force of the Critical Raw Materials Act, Europe starts a new industrial chapter,” said Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market. “In a volatile geopolitical context, Europe is accelerating its efforts, domestically and in partnership with third countries, to achieve a secured, abundant and sustainable supply of raw materials vital for our climate, digital, defence and security needs. I have full confidence that the implementation of the Critical Raw Materials Act is on the right track, to quickly identify and support strategic projects, facilitate demand aggregation and increase the number of skilled workers in our new industrial projects in mining, refining and recycling of critical raw materials.”

Moreover, on the occasion of the first meeting of the Critical Raw Materials Board, the Commission has opened the Call for Strategic Projects Applications. The first cut-off date for the submission of applications is 22 August 2024.

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