The list of critical raw materials for the EU was first published in 2011. It is a list of economically important metals and minerals that the EU must import but where the Commission considers that there are risks in terms of supply to the EU.
The list includes, for example, rare earth metals, which the EU imports from China to 99 percent - and to 1 percent from the UK.
- This is an ongoing development.
A growing dependence on China, says Magnus Ericsson commodity expert, Professor of Economics at Luleå University and founder of RMG Consulting.
- Many of these metals have previously been mined all over the world, but with large environmental costs.
And then production has finally ended up in China.
Efforts are planned
It is not just about China, but Chinese companies are involved in a large part of the raw materials that the Commission is concerned about.
And now the EU is planning a series of efforts to be able to produce the critical raw materials in Europe instead.
In addition, the world has changed geopolitically.
Magnus Ericsson believes that it is above all the geopolitical situation that is the reason why the European Commission wants to do something about the availability of the critical raw materials.
Europe's dependence on raw materials has not changed.
- I think it is these accumulated geopolitical views on China, and on China's actions that make us focus on this.
For the problem of Europe's supply of raw materials has been around for many years.
"Problem that the raw materials are too cheap"
But it is not easy to get started with to start mining the metals and minerals needed by the EU.
- It is a problem that the raw materials are too cheap.
It is not possible to start production with large costs to deal with environmental issues, here, says Magnus Ericsson.