Strategic Security and Critical Raw Materials: The Role of the European Investment Bank
A secure supply of critical raw materials (CRMs) is crucial for the realisation of the European Union’s energy transition. To increase domestic production and diversify imports of these materials, the European Commission published its proposal for the first-ever European Critical Raw Materials Act in March 2023. The proposed legislation would put in place several measures to strengthen security of supply along the entire CRM value chain. This paper analyses the Commission’s proposal, focusing on its supply diversification tools and how these may contribute to sustainable, mutually beneficial relations with African countries in the CRM space. The paper further discusses the opportunities and obstacles for financial institutions, and especially the European Investment Bank, to support this governance framework by helping to mobilise the substantial amounts of investments that are required for to increase supply security against the background of an exponential rise in global CRM demand over the coming decades.
1. Introduction: The strategic importance of CRMs for the EU and investment in African countries
2. The EU’s CRM objectives
3. The EU’s toolbox for CRM collaboration with African countries
4. The EIB and the European Union’s CRM diplomacy
5. Policy recommendations
Annex: CRM lending policy