Europe faces up to China’s supremacy on raw materials

(EurActiv, 5 Oct 2020) When COVID-19 hit Europe and disrupted global supply chains, the EU came to a sobering realisation – it cannot continue to rely solely on imports for raw materials.

For some EU policymakers in Brussels, this awareness of needing autonomy when it comes to lithium and rare earths, materials critical for digital and green industries, was a silver lining of the pandemic.

“[The pandemic] has revealed the EU’s problematic dependence on third countries for active pharmaceutical ingredients and medical supplies,” said Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, a Greek lawmaker in the European Parliament.

Looking ahead, she warned that Europe should be equally worried that the raw materials necessary for the green and digital transitions are sourced mostly from other regions.

“Europe’s ‘green recovery’ will be based on industrial leadership in the production of computers, batteries, electric vehicles, and wind turbines,” Asimakopoulou wrote in an opinion piece for EURACTIV.

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EurActiv, 5 Oct 2020: Europe faces up to China’s supremacy on raw materials