The European Commission is introducing new rules to ensure the EU’s supply of crucial raw materials. This should help to free Europe from China’s grip on raw materials for chips and batteries, for example.
The EU must learn from the stranglehold of gas supplier Russia and not surrender to China, warns committee chair Ursula von der Leyen in her annual ‘throne speech’ at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. She points out that China processes nearly 90 percent of all rare piles of earth and 60 percent of all lithium on Earth.
According to von der Leyen, the EU should build “strategic reserves” and identify links throughout the supply chain that are important to it. She wants to make a case for new trade agreements with raw materials producers such as India, Australia, Chile and Mexico.
The backlog that the EU had in the production of batteries and chips is also being made up thanks to intervention and cooperation with the industry, the committee chair says encouragingly.
Von der Leyen also announced his commitment to a ‘European Sovereignty Fund’. She did not elaborate on this, but plans for such a fund have been circulating for some time. They should give European companies a helping hand in the global market. The fund could hedge risks and provide credit that private lenders do not venture into as global free trade is under increasing pressure.