Sustainable and unhindered access to raw materials has been an important topic for the EU in recent years and with global demand increasing for such materials to produce a range of modern technologies, its importance is only growing. Therefore, the European Commission is gathering the European raw materials community for the fourth time for a five-day long event dedicated to raw materials. The EU Raw Materials Week will this year take place between 18-22 November in Brussels. As a strong voice for the European mining and metallurgy regions, MIREU will of course be attending these proceedings – this year with our own full-day event!
MIREU is partnering up with the European Minerals Day and EUMICON - the European Mineral Resources Confederation – to organise the event “Raw Materials Meeting Societal Needs”, which will take place on Thursday 21st November. Through this event, the organisers hope to bring together a wide variety of stakeholders, such as EU projects and other initiatives related to the raw materials sector; regional authorities; industrial representatives; as well as other interested stakeholders, to discuss and exchange ideas on current challenges and topics within the sector.
This event aims to tackle many current topics on raw materials and their link to European societies. The first session is dedicated to a discussion on current challenges and needs of the European raw materials sector and multiple value chain challenges, with an emphasis on the importance of local raw materials production in Europe to secure the future resilience of the industry. Local production is important, as it not only supports a balanced market situation for many raw materials, but it also allows value chains to develop which ensures that strategically important industries will remain in Europe. Furthermore, local sourcing ensures that social and environmental aspects of production will be fulfilled by European norms and regulations, which, in light of current trends, will become even more important as the consumer demand for sustainable raw materials is constantly increasing.
The focus of the second session will be on the importance of creating public awareness of the added value that raw materials bring to regional and local economies. Companies, local politicians and researchers will present testimonies and share their experiences with us on how to create awareness on European raw materials, by highlighting exciting projects and initiatives from different corners of Europe.
The third session will focus on the potential to create new business opportunities and economic growth in European mining and metallurgy regions, as well as the importance of cooperation between such regions, governments, industry and local communities in order to increase the competitiveness of European mineral producers and to support the just transition to a low carbon economy without increasing inequalities.
Based on the discussions at this event, a report summarising the presented case studies with recommendations for future work to secure a sustained and sustainable production of mineral raw materials within Europe will be released. We hope that you will join us for this exciting event and look forward to welcoming you in Brussels in November.
Sign up to the EU Raw Materials Week here!