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24 May 2024

EUMICON at the EIT Raw Materials Summit 2024

EIT Raw Materials set up a massive and significant Summit the week before the first CRM Board Meeting, and EUMICON was a proud media partner of it. The summit gathered over 1,000 industry leaders, policymakers, academics, and innovators, who created a space for collaboration and idea-sharing that’s vital for advancing Europe’s raw materials agenda. 

In the presence of Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, Institutional Relations and Foresight, Iliana Ivanova, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture and Innovation, and Bernd Schäfer, CEO and Managing Director of the EIT Raw Materials, the Critical Raw Materials Act has transitioned from legal and theoretical discussions into practical debates.

What does this mean?

It means that all the C-level speakers who took the stage, alongside key representatives from academia, industries, unions, and associations, agreed on two imperatives: enacting the CRMA and attracting human capital, i.e. more skilled labour force (young workers and women).

Enacting the CRMA

The Act is pivotal for ensuring Europe's access to crucial raw materials essential for strategic sectors such as clean technologies, digital, defence, and aerospace industries. Moreover, it establishes conditions to secure a sustainable supply of critical raw materials, aligning with Europe's 2030 climate and digital targets while preserving its competitiveness and economic security.

The CRMA sets benchmarks to bolster capacities for extracting, processing, and recycling critical raw materials within the EU, alongside guiding diversification efforts. It also furnishes a framework for selecting and executing Strategic Projects, which may benefit from expedited permitting processes and enhanced access to finance. 

Last but not least, the Act delineates national prerequisites for developing exploration programs in Europe and aims to enhance circularity and efficient usage of critical raw materials by establishing value chains for recycled variants. The Act facilitates monitoring, promotes information exchange, and encourages future coordination on strategic raw materials stocks among Member States and major companies to strengthen supply chain resilience.

Human capital

There is no company without workers, as well as there is no project without thinkers. To cultivate a highly skilled labor force, we must address the gender disparity within the technical and mining sectors. How can we effectively achieve this balance? Implementing specific measures to support young women in accessing higher education, acknowledging the challenges they may encounter in securing and retaining employment, is crucial. Simultaneously, tailored initiatives must be developed to enhance the skill sets of young workers.

As a proud media partner of EIT Raw Materials, EUMICON actively participated in the discussions that emerged during the summit. We are increasingly dedicated to fostering meaningful connections within our network to address the evolving landscape of raw materials and their value chains. Additionally, we aim to contribute to bridging the gender gap prevalent in the mining sector. If you would like to know more, subscribe our newsletter and follow us on our social media profiles (Linkedin, X).