Key Points of the Online Workshop on Critical Raw Materials Potential in the Western Balkans Region

With the attendance of over 150 participants and featuring four panel discussions, the Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum (WB6 CIF) jointly with the EU Neighbourhood & Enlargement (DG NEAR) and  EU Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship & SMEs (DG GROW) held a groundbreaking online event.

Participants delved deep into:

– The European Critical Raw Materials Act and its pillars.

The CRMA aims to increase the EU’s domestic extraction, processing, refining, and recycling of critical raw materials, and to ensure the diversification of supplies from third countries. The Acts puts forward several benchmarks including for the diversification actions, saying that not more than 65% of tthe EU’s annual consummation of each strategic raw materials should come from one single country.

 – The potential of the Western Balkans region for Critical Raw Materials.

Outside the countries with strategic partnership, the EU is keen to identify and support relevant projects that could contribute to the diversification of European supplies.
An essential step in this direction is the identification of concrete investment opportunities in third countries that could supply the European market and where the EU can act as Team Europe together with the Member States. The EU may also assist in improving the surrounding enabling environment and to facilitate activities, by pooling available resources and de-risking tools.
The Western Balkans have high potential for establishing a sustainable supply chain in rare earth metals and critical goods and materials.

– Insights were shared on concrete projects from the Western Balkans.

– Discussions unveiled the financial frameworks supporting environmentally and socially responsible CRM projects.

The discussions highlighted a strong commitment to funding CRM projects that meet strict ESG standards, underscoring the strategic importance of investing in the critical raw materials value chain for partner countries, including the Western Balkans region.

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