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06 June 2023

What are the positive aspects of the European Critical Raw Materials Act and what are the potential challenges lying beneath the surface?

In March 2023, the European Commission unveiled the Critical Raw Material Act (CRMA), a significant initiative designed to ensure the stable supply of critical raw materials. Its objectives encompass mitigating risks to supply chains, reducing strategic dependencies, and enhancing European autonomy. To achieve these aims, the CRMA emphasizes the promotion of refining, processing, and recycling of raw materials within Europe.


This new regulation establishes benchmarks for domestic capacities and the diversification of critical and strategic raw material supply chains in the EU by 2030. Additionally, the CRMA recognizes the importance of international cooperation as a vital component of a successful strategy for raw materials supply.


We recently had a captivating conversation with Diego Marin, Policy Officer for Raw Materials and Resource Justice at the European Environmental Bureau. Our discussion delved into various facets of the Act, exploring both its positive and negative aspects. We explored thought-provoking questions such as the categorization of raw materials as “critical” and their heavy reliance on extractive industries. We also contemplated whether our digital and energy transition could potentially come at the expense of human rights violations and hinder the development of raw materials sectors in Global South countries. For more intriguing insights and discussions on these topics check the interview.

About Diego Marin

Diego Marin is a policy officer for raw materials and resource justice at the European Environmental Bureau. He holds a master’s in international development from the University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies. At the EEB, he is leading the work on raw materials focusing on the circular economy aspects of the raw materials question and looking at the green and digital transitions from an environmental and global justice perspective.  Additionally, he is working to develop political tools and arguments for a raw materials binding target across the EU economy. He is co-author of the EEB and Friends of the Earth Europe report, “Green Mining is a Myth: the case for cutting EU resource consumption.”

About European Environmental Bureau

The EEB is the largest network of environmental citizens’ organisations in Europe. It currently consists of over 180 member organisations in 40 countries, including a growing number of networks, and representing some 30 million individual members and supporters.

The EEB tackles Europe’s most pressing environmental problems by agenda setting, monitoring, advising on and influencing the way the EU deals with these issues.

These include issues such as climate change, biodiversity, circular economy, air, water, soil, chemical pollution, as well as policies on industry, energy, agriculture, product design and waste prevention among others.

We are also active on overarching issues as sustainable development, good governance, participatory democracy and the rule of law in Europe and beyond.

While the primary focus of the EEB’s work is on the EU and its decision-making processes, we work also on wider regional and global processes, at the level of the UN and the OECD, in particular on the Global Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Further, with the enlargement of Europe, the EEB has increased its cooperation with Eastern European environmental organisations, helping them use European regulations to strengthen their national environmental policies.