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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Access to raw materials on global markets is one of the European Commission’s priorities. In the first pillar of the EU Raw Materials Strategy the EU has committed to pursuing Raw Materials Diplomacy by reaching out to non-EU countries through strategic partnerships and policy dialogues. So far, the EU has developed relations with Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Greenland, Japan, Mexico, Peru, the United States, Uruguay, the EuroMed countries and the African Union.

What the Commission does

Many countries have important mineral reserves with strategic relevance for EU industry. In the EU Raw Materials Strategy, the Raw Materials Diplomacy aims to establish dialogues with the EU’s strategic partners in raw materials. It does so by using different established frameworks of cooperation bilaterally, regionally or multilaterally. These frameworks are based on signed Letters of Intent or other agreed political frameworks.

Letters of Intent and Missions for Growth

Former Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani signed a number of important political agreements and letters of intent for raw materials (mostly during the Missions for Growth) with:

Policy dialogues

The Commission maintains policy dialogues with China, the US, Japan, Canada, Australia, and the countries of the African Union. Policy dialogues tackle raw materials production, trade, and recycling. They also tackle the criticality of raw materials, specifically rare earths.

International forums

  • Commodity Study Groups – the Commission is actively present in international commodity study groups that regularly meet in Lisbon to discuss market trends, exploration, extraction, production, and trade developments:
  • OECD – the Commission supports the work of the OECD on raw materials. This work concentrates on the raw materials trade, tackling export restrictions, promoting best practices in raw materials policies, and due diligence for responsible supply chains. The OECD provides economic analysis of trade in the sector and a forum for multilateral discussions.

Recent events

Forthcoming events

  • EU-China Working Group on Raw Materials (with China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology - MIIT) (Brussels, Fall 2015)