In the context of this opinion a mini-hearing was organized on 29 April 2011. The agenda and the available presentations are included below at the far bottom of this page along with the full text of the opinion.
Gist of the opinion
The EESC welcomes the Commission document COM(2011) 25 final Tackling the Challenges in Commodity Markets and on Raw Materials and The European raw materials' initiative (RMI) as an important step to tackle this vital issue.
EESC thus urges the EC to monitor the situation in international trade of critical raw materials (as listed in COM(2011) 25 final and with regular updating of this list). In addition, we endorse the need to continue in negotiation at the international level (WTO) to promote free trade also in commodity markets.
The EESC urges a more active foreign policy regarding security of raw materials for EU industry.
The raw material policy must form an integral component of the EU industrial policy.
The EESC thinks that the creation of a strategic stockpile of critical raw materials is among the potential solutions.
The EESC recommends launching initiatives to support research, data collection and monitoring focused on the current or potential raw material resources in the Member States but also in third countries.
The Committee considers research and innovation to be a crucial factor of the raw material policy. Raw material policy must be reflected as a priority of the forthcoming 8th Framework Programme for research and innovation in the EU.
The EESC recommends supporting current or new raw material extraction in the Member States, which conforms to the EU environmental, social and health and safety legislation. The domestic supply should be among the pillars of all raw material policies.
The EESC supports recycling of raw materials and underlines the necessity to secure the highest level of recycling rate, where it is economical and technically feasible. The EESC recommends supporting extraction from old mining waste, which contents a significant volume of a rich spectrum of different metals.