The European Parliament voted today on the report on the EU's raw materials strategy. After the vote, Reinhard Bütikofer, the draftsperson and Vice-Chair of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance said:
"The EP has sent a clear signal today on the direction of the EU's raw material strategy in adopting this report with such a large majority. The report calls for the EU to follow an ambitious innovation strategy based on resource efficiency and the recycling of raw materials in order to promote the sustainability and competitiveness of European industry. Here, Europe must set ambitious targets. In this respect, an effective raw materials strategy also implies coordinating the efforts of the EU and member states. The key to this is developing an effective governance structure and the report makes clear proposals to this end.
"With regard to raw material extraction within the EU, it is crucial to take account of the diverse land use interests, particularly the protection of natural habitats and biodiversity, as well as protecting social concerns. Environmentally-sensitive areas must be protected. When it comes to raw material extraction in the EU we must focus on our urban mines: the old laptops and cell phones that lie dormant in our households. We need to ensure a true cradle-to-cradle strategy, so that waste becomes an old-fashioned term.
"Guaranteeing access to raw materials through international markets must be an essential element of any strategy but raw materials diplomacy does not equal neo-colonialism. The EU needs to develop a cooperation strategy with resource-rich countries to this end. Raw materials diplomacy must respect development policy goals and concerns. The report also calls for the EU to push for the further development of international raw materials governance structures."