Online Workshop: Critical Raw Materials potential in the Western Balkans Region

The potential for Critical Raw materials (CRMs) in the Western Balkans Region will be the focus of an essential online workshop that will be held on April 25, 2024, from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Organized via Zoom, in cooperation between the European Commission Directorate-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship & SMEs (DG GROW), and the Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum, the event aims to highlight the pivotal role of CRMs. Global demand for them is forecast to increase significantly over the next years, as many countries need CRMs for their green and digital transitions.

In March 2023 the European Commission presented its proposal for a Regulation on a framework to ensure a secure and sustainable supply of critical raw materials for the EU, the so-called European Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) with the expected date of entry into force in May 2024.

The CRMA aims to increase the EU domestic extraction, processing and refining and recycling, and to ensure the diversification of our supplies from third countries. The Acts puts forward several benchmarks including for the diversification actions, saying that not more than 65% of the EU’s annual consummation of each strategic raw materials should come from one single country.
Starting from the 2020 Action Plan for Critical Raw Materials and continuing with the Critical Raw Materials Act, the EU commits to develop strategic international partnerships and associated funding to secure a diversified and sustainable supply of critical raw materials, essential for the green and digital transition and for defense and aerospace applications. The EU has signed so far 11 Strategic Partnerships on raw materials value chains with Canada and Ukraine in 2021, Kazakhstan and Namibia in 2022, Argentina, Chile, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia and Greenland in 2023 and with Rwanda and Norway in 2024. The partnerships developed are win-win partnerships aiming at developing local value addition and creating the conditions for developing local processing capacities and moving up along the value chain. Outside the countries with strategic partnership, the EU is keen to identify and support relevant projects that could contribute to the diversification of our supplies.

A crucial step is identifying specific investment opportunities in third countries that can supply the European market, where the EU, together with Member States as “Team Europe,” can collaborate effectively. Additionally, the EU aims to enhance the local enabling environment and support various activities by pooling resources and utilizing de-risking tools.

This event will be attended by the business representatives from the Western Balkans and EU Member States, business associations, representatives from the Western Balkans governments, the European Commission representatives, the EU Delegations in the Western Balkans, and financial institutions. The workshop will also aim to facilitate knowledge sharing and matchmaking within the CRM sector, providing a platform to discuss business opportunities and collaborative ventures.

This online workshop aims to offer an overview of the EU raw materials policy, including presenting the aims and pillars of the Critical Raw Materials Act. It is set to feature a full agenda aimed at exploring the strategic importance of critical raw materials.

Agenda can be found here

Registration for the event through the following link:

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