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Green group holds seminar on raw materials strategy

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The European Parliament’s Green group recently held a seminar on raw materials in order to help form the group’s position on the EU's raw materials strategy. ”It is important to develop longer-term policies and perspectives, while there is pressure to act also in the short-term,” said Reinhard Butikofer (Greens/EFA, Germany). ”There is a degree of urgency especially concerning rare earths, but also food security should be urgently addressed.”

During a panel discussion on trade and development (with a focus on metals), Obadiah Mailafia (Head of Cabinet, Secretariat of ACP states) pointed out that Africa's trade with China is rapidly increasing and that China has become the most important trading partner for raw materials, while Isabelle Ramdoo (European Centre for Development Policy Management) said that forecasts indicate there will be more raw materials produced from now to 2050 than ever before in history. Franziska Keller (Greens/EFA, DE) remarked that the EU raw material strategy should be discussed with African partners. ”The devil is in the implementation of the EU strategy; it remains to be seen what activities it will bring,” she said.

The second panel discussion focused on resource efficiency (with again a focus on metals). Kurt Vandenberghe (Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Potocnik) said that recycling and resource efficiency are linked to the raw material strategy, but that the time frames for those actions are different, recycling being longer term. The roadmap will be published this summer.

The third panel discussion was on commodity markets and speculation (with a focus on food and metals). Jasper Jorritsma (Security Markets Unit, DG Internal Market and Services) said that derivative markets have to be made stronger. Regulators should have the power of limiting positions and exemptions to reporting should be limited. These commission proposals will come forward in July.

The Conference programme can be found here: