2011/2056(INI)

Effective Raw Materials Strategy for Europe

Procedure completed

Activites

  • 2011/09/13 Text adopted by Parliament, single reading
    • T7-0364/2011 summary
    • Results of vote in Parliament
  • 2011/09/13 Commission response to text adopted in plenary
    • SP(2011)8668
    • DG Energy, TAJANI Antonio
  • 2011/09/12 Debate in Parliament
  • 2011/07/25 Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • 2011/07/25 Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • 2011/06/30 Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2011/05/23 Resolution/conclusions adopted by Council
  • #3092
  • 2011/05/23 Council Meeting
  • 2011/04/12 Deadline Amendments
  • 2011/03/24 Referral to associated committees announced in Parliament
  • 2011/03/24 Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2011/03/10 Committee draft report
  • #3074
  • 2011/03/09 Council Meeting
  • 2011/01/26 Non-legislative basic document published
    • COM(2011)0025 summary
  • 2011/01/26 Date
  • 2011/01/26 Non-legislative basic document
    • COM(2011)0025 summary
    • DG Energy, TAJANI Antonio

Documents

AmendmentsDossier
610 2011/2056(INI) Effective Raw Materials Strategy for Europe
2011/04/18 ITRE 279 amendments...
source: PE-462.749
2011/05/17 AFET 58 amendments...
source: PE-464.905
2011/05/26 DEVE 47 amendments...
source: PE-465.033
2011/05/30 INTA 180 amendments...
source: PE-466.972
2011/05/31 AGRI 46 amendments...
source: PE-464.932

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

2012-02-09
activities added
  • date
    2011-01-26
    docs
    • text
      • PURPOSE: to present an integrated strategic vision to overcome the obstacles on commodity markets and difficulties regarding raw materials.

        BACKGROUND: in recent years, commodity markets have displayed increased volatility and unprecedented price movements. Prices in all major commodity markets, including energy, metals and minerals, agriculture and food, increased sharply in 2007 to reach a peak in 2008, declined strongly from the second half of 2008 and have been on an increasing trend again since the summer of 2009. Fluctuations in prices of agricultural commodities have consequences for farmers, the food industry and consumers, including in the poorest of countries.

        Markets are experiencing the growing impact of finance: between 2003 and 2008, for example, institutional investors increased their investments in commodities markets from 13 billion euro in 2003 to between 170 and 205 billion euro in 2008. Investment by index traders in particular has increased strongly.

        Faced with these developments, the European Commission has taken a number of initiatives: in 2008, it already drew attention to the strategic importance of defining policies for raw materials by launching the raw materials initiative (RMI). Since then, it has taken actions within this framework to address sustainable access to raw materials both within and outside the EU, as well as on resource efficiency and recycling. It also began an in-depth reflection on commodities market in general and on food prices and security of food supply in particular. In response to the financial crisis, it has launched a range of measures to improve the regulation, integrity and transparency of financial markets, and most recently it has made a proposal for the regulation of energy markets.

        This Communication presents an overview of what has been achieved in each of these areas and of the steps which are planned to take the work forward. This work is part of the Europe 2020 strategy which is closely linked to the flagship initiative for a resource efficient Europe. It will feed into the work of the G20 which agreed at the Pittsburgh summit "to improve the regulation, functioning, and transparency of financial and commodity markets to address excessive commodity price volatility". This commitment was reinforced in November 2010 by the G20 summit in Seoul.

        CONTENT: the European Commission presents an overview of the main developments that have affected the financial and physical commodity markets (energy, agriculture, raw materials) and outlines the measures taken since the launch of the raw materials initiative. These include:

        • the identification of 14 critical raw materials at EU level which display a particularly high risk of supply shortage in the next 10 years and which are particularly important for the value chain;
        • the implementation of an EUtrade strategy for raw materials;
        • actions in the area of development in particular under the 10th EDF or projects financed by the EU-Africa Infrastructure Fund, EIB lending to mining projects or the 7th Framework Programme for R&D for geological surveys;
        • the drawing up of guidelines specifying the points that need to be respected to ensure that the extraction of raw materials in the EU is compatible with the Natura 2000 criteria;
        • the creation of new areas of research within the Framework Programme for R&D and the drawing up of "End-of-Waste" criteria.

        While significant progress has been made in implementing the RMI, further improvements are necessary. An integrated approach based on the three pillars is essential, as each contributes to the objective of ensuring a fair and sustainable supply of raw materials to the EU.

        1) Fair and sustainable supply of raw materials from global markets (pillar 1): the Commission will follow the issues posed by critical raw materials in order to define priority actions. It will regularly update, at least every three years, the list of critical raw materials already identified.

        The EU will actively pursue a "raw materials diplomacy" with a view to securing access to raw materials, in particular the critical ones, through strategic partnerships and policy dialogues. Among other things, the Commission proposes to:

        • enhance European financial and political support for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), and help developing countries to implement it;
        • examine ways to improve transparency throughout the supply chain and tackle in coordination with key trade partners situations where revenues from extractive industries are used to fund wars or internal conflicts;
        • promote the application of EU standards by EU companies operating in the developing countries;
        • examine, in co-operation with African national and regional authorities, how to promote the most appropriate infrastructure, and deal with related governance issues;
        • help developing countries increase their geological knowledgeto allow them to better estimate national mineral reserves, better plan budgets based on expected revenues from these reserves and give increased bargaining power vis-à-vis mining firms.

        The Commission intends to reinforce the Raw Materials Trade Strategy in line with development and good governance objectives. The Commission considers that the EU should:

        • continue to develop bilateral thematic raw materials dialogues with all relevant partners, and strengthen ongoing debates in pluri - and multilateral fora (including e.g. G20, UNCTAD, WTO, OECD);
        • carry out further studies to provide a better understanding of the impact of export restrictions on raw materials markets, and
        • further embed raw materials issues, such as export restrictions and investment aspects, in ongoing and future EU trade negotiations in bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral frameworks.

        2)Fostering sustainable supply within the EU (pillar 2): extractive industries fall under this category but its development is hindered by a heavy regulatory framework and competition with other land uses. Many regulatory issues in this area are the competence of Member States. The Commission therefore acts mainly as a facilitator for the exchange of best practices. At the same time, the Commission considers that the following practicesare particularly important in promoting investment in extractive industries:

        • defining a National Minerals Policy, to ensure that mineral resources are exploited in an economically viable way, harmonised with other national policies, based on sustainable development principles and including a commitment to provide an appropriate legal and information framework;
        • setting up a land use planning policy for minerals;
        • identification and safeguarding of mineral resources (taking into account other land uses) including their protection from the effects of natural disasters;
        • putting in place a process to authorise minerals exploration and extraction which is clear and understandable;
        • increase the synergies between national geological surveys.

        3)Boosting resource efficiency and promoting recycling (pillar 3): to promote a Europe that is more efficient in its use of resources, it is vital to strengthen the measures that counter obstacles that restrict recycling and to improve the implementation of the EU's existing legislation in the waste field. In particular, the Commission proposes to:

        • review the Thematic Strategy on waste prevention and recycling in 2012 to develop best practices in collection and treatment of key waste streams, in particular those which contain raw materials with a negative impact on the environment;
        • develop new initiatives to improve the competitiveness of the recycling industry in the EU, notably by introducing new market instruments that will encourage the development of secondary raw materials;
        • consider mobilising funds from the 7th Framework Programme for R&D in order to improve techniques for detection, identification, tracking and location of illicit shipments;
        • examine the feasibility of applying a global certification scheme for recycling facilities to the export of waste streams.

        4) The regulation of financial markets: in view of these developments, the regulation of financial markets is a critical element. Regulatory initiatives have already been taken or are planned in the coming months to increase the integrity and transparency of the commodity derivatives market. The revision of Directive 2003/0006/EC on Market Abuse, in spring 2011, will aim to clarify what trading in commodity markets constitutes abuse, and to ensure that all venues and transactions where abusive practices can occur are properly covered under pan-EU rules.

        In its communication, the European Commission also observes that further research is required to understand better the interaction between physical and financial commodities markets. The Commission intends to continue its work in the area, in the context of the G20 at global level.

      title
      COM(2011)0025
      type
      Non-legislative basic document published
      celexid
      CELEX:52011PC0025:EN
    body
    type
    Non-legislative basic document published
  • body
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    date
    2011-01-26
    type
    Date
  • date
    2011-01-26
    docs
    • text
      • PURPOSE: to present an integrated strategic vision to overcome the obstacles on commodity markets and difficulties regarding raw materials.

        BACKGROUND: in recent years, commodity markets have displayed increased volatility and unprecedented price movements. Prices in all major commodity markets, including energy, metals and minerals, agriculture and food, increased sharply in 2007 to reach a peak in 2008, declined strongly from the second half of 2008 and have been on an increasing trend again since the summer of 2009. Fluctuations in prices of agricultural commodities have consequences for farmers, the food industry and consumers, including in the poorest of countries.

        Markets are experiencing the growing impact of finance: between 2003 and 2008, for example, institutional investors increased their investments in commodities markets from 13 billion euro in 2003 to between 170 and 205 billion euro in 2008. Investment by index traders in particular has increased strongly.

        Faced with these developments, the European Commission has taken a number of initiatives: in 2008, it already drew attention to the strategic importance of defining policies for raw materials by launching the raw materials initiative (RMI). Since then, it has taken actions within this framework to address sustainable access to raw materials both within and outside the EU, as well as on resource efficiency and recycling. It also began an in-depth reflection on commodities market in general and on food prices and security of food supply in particular. In response to the financial crisis, it has launched a range of measures to improve the regulation, integrity and transparency of financial markets, and most recently it has made a proposal for the regulation of energy markets.

        This Communication presents an overview of what has been achieved in each of these areas and of the steps which are planned to take the work forward. This work is part of the Europe 2020 strategy which is closely linked to the flagship initiative for a resource efficient Europe. It will feed into the work of the G20 which agreed at the Pittsburgh summit "to improve the regulation, functioning, and transparency of financial and commodity markets to address excessive commodity price volatility". This commitment was reinforced in November 2010 by the G20 summit in Seoul.

        CONTENT: the European Commission presents an overview of the main developments that have affected the financial and physical commodity markets (energy, agriculture, raw materials) and outlines the measures taken since the launch of the raw materials initiative. These include:

        • the identification of 14 critical raw materials at EU level which display a particularly high risk of supply shortage in the next 10 years and which are particularly important for the value chain;
        • the implementation of an EUtrade strategy for raw materials;
        • actions in the area of development in particular under the 10th EDF or projects financed by the EU-Africa Infrastructure Fund, EIB lending to mining projects or the 7th Framework Programme for R&D for geological surveys;
        • the drawing up of guidelines specifying the points that need to be respected to ensure that the extraction of raw materials in the EU is compatible with the Natura 2000 criteria;
        • the creation of new areas of research within the Framework Programme for R&D and the drawing up of "End-of-Waste" criteria.

        While significant progress has been made in implementing the RMI, further improvements are necessary. An integrated approach based on the three pillars is essential, as each contributes to the objective of ensuring a fair and sustainable supply of raw materials to the EU.

        1) Fair and sustainable supply of raw materials from global markets (pillar 1): the Commission will follow the issues posed by critical raw materials in order to define priority actions. It will regularly update, at least every three years, the list of critical raw materials already identified.

        The EU will actively pursue a "raw materials diplomacy" with a view to securing access to raw materials, in particular the critical ones, through strategic partnerships and policy dialogues. Among other things, the Commission proposes to:

        • enhance European financial and political support for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), and help developing countries to implement it;
        • examine ways to improve transparency throughout the supply chain and tackle in coordination with key trade partners situations where revenues from extractive industries are used to fund wars or internal conflicts;
        • promote the application of EU standards by EU companies operating in the developing countries;
        • examine, in co-operation with African national and regional authorities, how to promote the most appropriate infrastructure, and deal with related governance issues;
        • help developing countries increase their geological knowledgeto allow them to better estimate national mineral reserves, better plan budgets based on expected revenues from these reserves and give increased bargaining power vis-à-vis mining firms.

        The Commission intends to reinforce the Raw Materials Trade Strategy in line with development and good governance objectives. The Commission considers that the EU should:

        • continue to develop bilateral thematic raw materials dialogues with all relevant partners, and strengthen ongoing debates in pluri - and multilateral fora (including e.g. G20, UNCTAD, WTO, OECD);
        • carry out further studies to provide a better understanding of the impact of export restrictions on raw materials markets, and
        • further embed raw materials issues, such as export restrictions and investment aspects, in ongoing and future EU trade negotiations in bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral frameworks.

        2)Fostering sustainable supply within the EU (pillar 2): extractive industries fall under this category but its development is hindered by a heavy regulatory framework and competition with other land uses. Many regulatory issues in this area are the competence of Member States. The Commission therefore acts mainly as a facilitator for the exchange of best practices. At the same time, the Commission considers that the following practicesare particularly important in promoting investment in extractive industries:

        • defining a National Minerals Policy, to ensure that mineral resources are exploited in an economically viable way, harmonised with other national policies, based on sustainable development principles and including a commitment to provide an appropriate legal and information framework;
        • setting up a land use planning policy for minerals;
        • identification and safeguarding of mineral resources (taking into account other land uses) including their protection from the effects of natural disasters;
        • putting in place a process to authorise minerals exploration and extraction which is clear and understandable;
        • increase the synergies between national geological surveys.

        3)Boosting resource efficiency and promoting recycling (pillar 3): to promote a Europe that is more efficient in its use of resources, it is vital to strengthen the measures that counter obstacles that restrict recycling and to improve the implementation of the EU's existing legislation in the waste field. In particular, the Commission proposes to:

        • review the Thematic Strategy on waste prevention and recycling in 2012 to develop best practices in collection and treatment of key waste streams, in particular those which contain raw materials with a negative impact on the environment;
        • develop new initiatives to improve the competitiveness of the recycling industry in the EU, notably by introducing new market instruments that will encourage the development of secondary raw materials;
        • consider mobilising funds from the 7th Framework Programme for R&D in order to improve techniques for detection, identification, tracking and location of illicit shipments;
        • examine the feasibility of applying a global certification scheme for recycling facilities to the export of waste streams.

        4) The regulation of financial markets: in view of these developments, the regulation of financial markets is a critical element. Regulatory initiatives have already been taken or are planned in the coming months to increase the integrity and transparency of the commodity derivatives market. The revision of Directive 2003/0006/EC on Market Abuse, in spring 2011, will aim to clarify what trading in commodity markets constitutes abuse, and to ensure that all venues and transactions where abusive practices can occur are properly covered under pan-EU rules.

        In its communication, the European Commission also observes that further research is required to understand better the interaction between physical and financial commodities markets. The Commission intends to continue its work in the area, in the context of the G20 at global level.

      title
      COM(2011)0025
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    • The Council examined a recent Commission communication on raw materials and commodity markets and adopted conclusions on the subject.

      It highlights that secure, open and affordable access to raw materials, including renewable raw materials, commodities and energy at undistorted and equitable prices is crucial to the sustainable competitiveness and growth of European industry, including small and medium sized enterprise. It recalls the importance of a competitive EU non-energy extractive industry, both in terms of value creation and employment and as a means of reducing the vulnerability of the European economy.

      Considering that the two main issues at stake are excessive price volatility on the one hand and the risk of interruptions or reductions of supplies on the other hand, the Council calls for a considered, market-based EU response to these challenges, based on a coherent approach that takes into account, where appropriate: (i) the Raw Materials Initiative; (ii) commodities and security in food markets; (iii) regulation of financial markets; (iv) energy policy; (v) external relations; (vi); competition; (vii) trade; (viii) development; (ix) industrial and environmental policies; (x) agriculture and forest policy.

      Welcoming the communication from the Commission from 2 February 2011, the Council made the following recommendations:

      (1) Fair, sustainable and undistorted trade in raw materials: the Council fully supports the intention of the Commission to reinforce it with the objective of ensuring the secure, sustainable and undistorted supply of raw materials in a manner that continues to integrate development objectives and thus takes into account, as appropriate, the level of development of individual developing trading partners, especially of LDCs.

      The Commission is called upon to:

      • to pursue firmly the inclusion of binding disciplines on trade and investment measures related to raw materials;
      • to speed up the establishment of a monitoring mechanism for export restrictions;
      • to increase efforts to tackle existing barriers distorting raw materials markets through all appropriate means, mechanisms and instruments, including the Market Access Strategy and, where justified, through dispute settlement;
      • to intensify outreach and diplomatic activities on raw materials with all relevant partners and in all relevant international fora.

      (2) Sustainable supply of raw materials; relevant dialogues; partnerships; development policy: the Council calls for:

      ·        continued support to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the sharing of best practices with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and regional development banks, as well as promoting transparency, good governance and sustainability standards throughout the raw materials supply chain in, amongst other things, EU development instruments;

      ·        promoting transparency, good governance and sustainability standards throughout the raw materials supply chain in, amongst other things, EU development instruments;

      ·        the Commission to come forward with initiatives on the disclosure of financial information by companies working in the extractive industry;

      ·        the need for promoting the equal application of high, sustainable standards by both EU and non-EU companies operating in developing countries and the application of Best Available Technology Requirements, as well as the need to promote Corporate Social Responsibility and other relevant codes of conduct;

      ·        the need for a "raw materials diplomacy" anchored in wider policies towards third countries.

      (3) Fostering sustainable supply within the EU: the Council stresses the need for better coordination to improve the way in which Europe's own resources and raw materials are extracted, distributed, processed, re-used and recycled.

      The Commission is encouraged to:

      • act as a facilitator in the exchange of best practices and to continue to offer its support for: (a) defining a minerals policy in the Member States based on principles of sustainable development; (b) setting up a policy for land-use planning for minerals in the Member States; (c) putting in place a clear process for authorisation of minerals exploration and extraction
      • in the Member States;
      • further promote innovation and research and development efforts in the raw materials value chain, including exploration, extraction, processing, recycling, ecodesign, resource-efficient production and substitution;
      • assess the case for launching a European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on raw materials and to come forward with proposals for this as appropriate, whilst fully respecting the principle of subsidiarity;
      • take coordinated action across different policy areas to make the use of resources and materials, as well as the design and production of goods, within the EU more efficient and more sustainable.

      (4) Boosting resource efficiency and promoting recycling: the Council looks forward to the forthcoming EU roadmap for a resource efficient Europe, the roadmap for the way towards a European low-carbon economy by 2050 of April 2010, the European Energy Efficiency Plan 2020 of November 2010, as well as other Commission initiatives to:

      ·        address the main obstacles to efficiency and recycling,

      ·        take effective action against the leakage of waste to sub-standard treatment within or outside the EU,

      ·        encourage the retrieval (including recycling) of raw materials from mining waste,

      ·        promote the development of the recycling industry across the entire value chain, for the benefit of European industry,

      ·        stimulate innovation in resource-efficiency and design of recyclable products, and

      ·        apply an integrated lifecycle approach in which consideration is given to the containing of hazardous substances resulting from recycling.

      The Council encourages eco-innovation and looks forward to the forthcoming eco-innovation plan. It invites the Commission to ensure that its current and forthcoming initiatives and instruments promote products with improved material efficiency, optimal lifetimes and improved recycling and re-use potential. It calls for stronger cooperation in applied research in order to identify substitute solutions, including materials, that will reduce the EU's dependence on raw materials, including critical raw materials.

      Lastly, the Council supports the Commission's plans for promoting an annual public discussion on the security of supply of raw materials and commodities by means of a regular thematic event, for promoting awareness of the challenges ahead and for taking stock of progress achieved in these areas.

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    text
    • The Council adopted conclusions on regulation and supervision in commodity markets and related financial markets.

      It welcomes the Commission Communication of 2 February 2011 on tackling the challenges in commodities markets and on raw materials, noting the ongoing discussion in international fora, in particular the G20.

      The Council:

      • highlights that transparent and well functioning financial markets are crucial in ensuring appropriate price discovery and in shaping expectations of price formation for raw materials and commodities;
      • concurs with the need to avoid excessive volatility and misalignments of prices with economic fundamentals;
      • acknowledges that one of the main roles of commodity derivatives markets is to hedge the exposure of both producers and consumers of raw materials and commodities to risks associated with physical production and price uncertainty;
      • takes note of the growing influence of financial actors in commodity markets, in particular the rise in financial investment flows into commodity derivative markets in recent years, including agricultural and oil markets, and recognises that the full effects of the interconnection of financial and raw materials markets must be fully apprehended;
      • agrees that the transparency of commodity derivatives markets needs to be improved without compromising the positive functioning of these markets; and stresses the need to ensure effective regulation and supervision of trading in commodity derivatives as well as an adequate regulatory and supervisory framework governing physical markets;
      • encourages the Commission to come forward with proposals for better transparency and regulation on derivative commodity markets, within the framework of the revision of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) and the Market Abuse Directive (MAD) and bearing in mind that the proposal for regulating OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories (EMIR) has already a bearing in this area.

      The Council stresses the need to improve the quality and availability of data on physical markets and derivatives markets, in particular OTC (e.g. by strengthening the cooperation among the relevant bodies and adjusting the methodologies and processes for collecting data); to extend position reporting; and to give sufficient powers and tools to the respective supervisors to ensure a better coverage of physical and commodity derivatives markets, notably OTC, while preserving market liquidity. It emphasis the need for an effective regime to identify and prevent market abuses, in particular cross-market manipulation between physical markets and derivatives markets, and of reviewing both the effectiveness of the available instruments and enforcement mechanisms.

      The Council recognises therefore the need for regulators to have the necessary instruments to prevent market abuses in an effective way, and notes the Commission's intention to consider the inclusion of the means to set position limits in its forthcoming MiFID proposal. It stresses the need for ensuring that financial market participants are subject to adequate and proportionate regulation and supervision, especially when trading in commodity derivatives.

      Lastly, the Council calls for ongoing monitoring of commodity markets and for ensuring an effective regulation and supervision of raw materials markets and better cooperation between financial regulators and regulators of such markets.

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    text
    • The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy adopted the own-initiative report drafted by Reinhard BÜTIKOFER (Greens/EFA, DE) in response to the Commission communication entitled "Tackling the challenges in commodity markets and on raw materials".

      (1) A Raw Materials Strategy: the report emphasises that the availability of fair access to, and stable and predictable prices of, RM are of vital importance for the development potential, competitiveness, innovation and preservation of European industry. Members believe that resource policy and resource diplomacy are of high importance for the EU, not only with regard to industrial policy and international trade but also as a transversal issue concerning different fields of domestic policy, as well as foreign and security policy.

      The responsibility for a coherent and effective EU diplomacy must lie with the EEAS and the relevant Commission services - and especially with DG Trade with regard to trade issues - acting in close coordination with the Council and Parliament.

      The report calls on the Commission to give adequate focus to commodity markets and theRaw Materials Initiative (RMI) separately, since the two fields differ in nature and require specific measures to address their divergent problems. It calls on the Commission: (i) to regularly update the critical raw materials (CRM) list and to observe non-scarce but strategically important RM with a view to countering tendencies towards inflation that give rise to concentrations in ownership of suppliers; (ii) to establish a 'risk radar for CRM', to analyse current and future needs and prices as well as the negative effects of shortages in potential CRM, especially REE, with regard to the renewable-energy, high-technology, defence and even automotive sectors; (iii) to analyse the supply chains depending on CRM, the refining capacity, also leading to semi-finished products, and the interaction between CRM and their associated base metals.

      The report recommends the establishment of a high-level interdepartmental RM task force in 2011, encompassing the relevant DGs, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Environment Agency and the EEAS, to elaborate, monitor and review policies, including partnership agreements, to ensure strategic coherence and to promote the establishment of an early-warning system, inter alia for market distortion and resource-fuelled conflicts.

      The Commission is called upon:

      • to set up a long-term 'European Raw Materials Roadmap to 2050', which would identify future developments, threats and opportunities in the RM and CRM sectors and which could help European industries, academic and research institutions to engage in long-term planning and investment;
      • to support Member States in developing their own RM strategies and to foster coordination and the exchange of best practice among them, including on the external dimension; suggests that the upcoming communication on the external dimension of energy could serve as a template.

      (2) Resource efficiency, re-use, recycling and substitution: Members note that overcoming the RM challenges provides an opportunity to invigorate the EU's industrial base, technological capacity and know-how and to increase competitiveness and stable qualified employment via an ambitious industrial innovation strategy. They note that notwithstanding the importance of an effective trade policy and the use of own resources, good RM governance and increasing efficiencies, re-use, energy-efficient recycling, lowering resource use, also through improved product quality standards and the 'use-it-longer' principle, where appropriate, and employing green technologies will be key to competitiveness, sustainability and supply security in the medium to long term.

      Members believe that:

      ·         any initiative in this regard should be based on proper impact assessments focusing on potential environmental, social, and competitiveness impacts;

      ·         it is important to apply consistently the legally binding European Waste Hierarchy as set out in the Waste Framework Directive, which prioritises prevention, reuse and recycling, followed by recovery and disposal;

      ·         social innovation, lifestyle changes and new concepts such as eco-leasing, chemical leasing and sharing should be supported by the Commission.

      The Commission is called upon to: (i) develop a recycling strategy with retrieval as close to the source of waste as possible, including the purification of waste water; (ii) submit a proposal to amend the Landfill Directive; (iii) support recycling partnerships with developing countries; (iv) support pilot projects like zero-waste zones; (v) evaluate how the European Investment Bank (EIB) can help reduce the financial risks of investments in breakthrough-technology recycling plants and other recycling initiatives.

      (3) Sustainable supply in the EU: the report calls for non-fiscal policies to support domestic RM sectors in attracting investments. It welcomes, therefore, cooperation between national geological surveys; calls for increased collaboration between them and encourages the use of common standards and practices that would facilitate the exchange and exploitation of available geological data. Members ask the Commission to assess whether the creation of an EU Geological Service that pools the work of national surveys and works with international partners is necessary.

      Noting the importance and supply of domestic RM supply in Europe, the report calls, therefore:

      • for better coordination with regard to exploration, extraction, distribution, processing, reusing and recycling;
      • on the competent public authorities (national, regional and local) to apply clear, efficient and coordinated administrative procedures for the granting of authorisations to exploit domestic RM, possibly including establishing a one-stop shop to ease and accelerate the licensing process;
      • on the Member States to draw up land use planning policies, including long-term estimates for regional and local mineral demand.

      The Commission is called upon to assess the need for setting up a stockpiling mechanism for CRM, especially rare earth elements (REE), which would guarantee European companies access to strategic materials used in green, high-tech, defence and health industries and protection against monopolist pressure and price rises. The report underlines the fact that the role of the EU in any potential stockpiling programme should be limited to providing the legal framework and regulatory oversight.

      (4) International fair and sustainable supply of raw materials: noting the increasing incidence of trade restrictions and distortions of competition in trade in RM, Members call on the Commission to consistently monitor and address on regional, multi-and-bilateral levels the issue of export and import restrictions. They support the creation in the WTO of a monitoring tool on tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade on RM and REE and the setting-up in the G20 of a 'Raw Materials and Rare Earths Stability Board'. The report stresses the need for trade and technology dialogue with China.

      The committee welcomes the EU's intention of pursuing an active RM diplomacy which encompasses various policies such as foreign, trade, environment and development policies and which promotes and strengthens democratic principles, human rights, regional stability, transparency and sustainable development. It believes that concrete priority actions and a comprehensive strategy for sustainable supply of REE need to be developed in the very short term.

      The report stresses the role that corporate social responsibility plays by adhering to high environmental and social and labour standards abroad and applying best available technologies. In this context, Members call on the Commission to come forward with a proposal of its own on country-by-country reporting concerning conflict minerals and to establish legally binding requirements for extractive companies to publish their revenue payments for each project and country they invest in, following the example of the US Dodd-Frank bill.

      Members consider that EU companies should be legally liable in their home countries for any violation of human rights, environmental standards or ILO core labour standards by their subsidiaries abroad and the entities they control.

      Members are concerned about the continuing trade in, and use of, minerals from conflict zones, whose production gives rise to unacceptable violence and illegal activities. They call on the Commission and the EU's strategic suppliers' countries to jointly develop effective RM traceability systems from import through to recycling or disposal and to introduce a mutual certification scheme for RM and their trading chains (Certified Trading Chains), so that trade can be guaranteed to be fair.

      In addition, the report calls on the Commission to take the necessary measures to ensure there is transparency on commodity markets and to act decisively against unjustified commodities speculation, leading to commodity market abuse.

      (5) Agricultural products and commodity markets: the report supports the analysis provided by the Commission with regard to agricultural products in the context of global food security, with diminishing global food reserves and increasing population and hunger.

      The role of financial instruments and speculative behaviour as a possible cause of instability must be seriously considered. In this context, Members ask the Commission to propose concrete measures to guarantee food security, tackle market instability and, with sustainable overall responsibility, reinforce the operability of the derivatives markets for agricultural commodities as a matter of urgency.

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    Commission response to text adopted in plenary
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dossier_of_the_committee
ITRE/7/05029
reference
2011/2056(INI)
title
Effective Raw Materials Strategy for Europe
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  • Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 048
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Procedure completed
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code AGPLv3.0+, data ODBLv1.0, site-content CC-By-Sa-3.0
© European Union, 2011 – Source: European Parliament