EU joint purchasing of critical materials could be close

News Analysis




EU joint purchasing of critical materials could be close

Plans were further detailed and discussed at this week’s EIT Raw Materials Summit.

The European Commission is preparing to launch the first call for investors interested in jointly buying critical raw materials as EU legislation to secure the supply of critical minerals will kick off later this month.

Over 30 critical materials will be procured in a similar fashion to that applied by the EU executive to the procurement of natural gas, with joint purchasing schemes, Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič told reporters at the EIT Raw Materials Summit.

The EU Critical Raw Materials Act, designed to guarantee a supply of critical materials for Europe’s energy (and digital) transition while reducing dependence on China, comes into force on May 23.

A CRMA Board is set to be created to enable liaison between EU countries and the EU executive in the procurement process. The Commission will issue a call for aggregated demand followed by an approach to global markets.

The shift in tone and pace from Europe is notable. For many years, (justified) criticism was levelled at EU policymakers for focussing too little on critical materials and falling behind in key areas. It appears the continent is ready to play catch up.