Raw materials policy is a vital part of the EU’s industrial policy, ensuring competitiveness of European companies, sustainability of raw materials’ use and security of supply. The Commission had included biotic resources in its communication and thus the raw materials strategy contributes to facing the challenges of Europe, and can be anchored into the other EU policies to tackle them. This report, focusing only on minerals, takes a narrow and short-term approach to tackling the availability of specific raw materials and particularly rare earths. It fails to fulfil the task given and some measures are disproportionate.
Article 15 calls for a study on the effects of a tax on water and land use, which would hurt our sustainable forest industries. This would make wood-based products more expensive than metals and minerals, and at times when substituting high-carbon products with low-carbon wood products forms a partial answer in the fight against climate change. I hope the Commission, while taking up proposals from the report, keeps its broad approach including biotic resources (e.g. wood), pushes for the Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials, with all raw materials addressed, and recognises the positive contribution to meeting the challenges of forests, forestry and forest-based industries.