On 13 September 2017, as part of a renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy, the Commission has adopted a new list of critical raw materials for the EU. The list identifies raw materials with a high importance to the EU economy and a high risk associated with their supply, said in the Comission’s statement.
The new list includes nine new materials as compared to 2014 list: baryte, bismuth, hafnium, helium, natural rubber, phosphorus, scandium, tantalum, vanadium, bringing the number up to 27 raw materials which are now considered critical by the European Commission. Three of these are entirely new to the list: bismuth, helium, phosphorus, as they were assessed for the first time. The other 17 critical raw materials are: antimony, beryllium, borate, cobalt, coking coal, fluorspar, gallium, germanium, indium, magnesium, natural graphite, niobium, phosphate rock, silicon metal, tungsten, platinum group metals, heavy rare earths, light rare earths. For the first time, individual assessment results are available for the latter three grouped metals.
Based on a refined methodology, the list provides a factual tool for trade, innovation and industrial policy measures to strengthen the competitiveness of European industry in line with the renewed industrial strategy for Europe. It should help incentivise the European production of critical raw materials through enhancing recycling and mining activities. The Commission is taking account of the list through a wide range of actions in the areas of trade, international relations, research and innovation, knowledge base and circular economy. For instance, critical raw materials are a priority area in the EU Circular Economy Action Plan in order to foster their efficient use and recycling. The list is also aimed at raising awareness of potential raw material supply risks and related opportunities among EU Member States, companies and investors.
The 2017 list of Critical Raw Materials for the EU builds on the results of the ‘Study on the review of the list of Critical Raw Materials’. The final report of the study along with the critical and non-critical factsheets developed for all the materials in scope of the assessment are now available in the EU bookshop.