European Critical Raw Materials Act: Critical Minerals, China and the EU’s Security of Supply


ZOOM WEBINAR - 8 December 2022, 16.00-17.30 CET (Brussels)

Recent international events have illustrated clearly that supply chains for critical goods are highly connected and carefully organized on a global scale. Disruptions to this carefully balanced supply chain can not only be inconvenient to European consumers, but national security risks for countries, especially when it comes to materials such as cobalt, graphite, copper, nickel, lithium, and certain rare earth elements used in the manufacture of electronics, clean energy, and aerospace and automotive products.

The European Commission’s proposed directive, the EU Critical Raw Materials Act, aims to establish legislation that would secure the EU’s access to critical raw materials (CRMs). The measure could improve the stability for supply chains that are important on an economic level and generally address the significant threat that China poses to Europe’s economic well-being. Among the objectives, the Act would support the EU’s green and digital transitions by assuring that the raw materials necessary for these transitions are available from a robust array of sources, not controlled by single actors that act as de facto monopolies. In addition to bolstering economic security, the measure would have meaningful impact on efforts to avoid economic relationships with countries that engage in the violation of human rights. This includes China, whose state-owned companies profit from Uyghur forced labour.

The webinar discussed whether focusing on cooperation with different countries and regions and partnering with multinational corporations to access secure supply chains can help ensure that the EU is not supporting forced labour, all while weakening the general threat China poses.


Part One: Analysis of the EU's Forthcoming Critical Minerals Regulation

Ambassador J. Peter Pham
Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council and former U.S. Special Envoy for the Sahel & Great Lakes Regions of Africa

Daniel Dalton
Former MEP and former CEO of the British Chamber of Commerce EU/Belgium

Part Two: How do Minerals Fit Into The EU's Broader Strategy for Relations with China?

Rushan Abbas
Founder and Directive of the Campaign for Uyghurs

Pieter Cleppe
Vice-President of the Belgian think tank Libera


To watch the video recording on FB: https://www.facebook.com/EuropeanDemocracy1/videos/500065508764151/

To watch the video recording on Youtube: https://youtu.be/4jrGG5Jdn5k


Image source: European Union Agency for the Space Programme