The decarbonisation of the European economy and the European Green Deal in light of the upcoming Critical Raw Materials Act

Speakers: Daniel Mes, Solis-Perez Susana, Giles Dickson, Sauer Andreas
Moderator: Frank Umbach

We are delighted to invite you to an event which will be held on Tuesday, 6th of December at 16.00.

This event will consist of an afternoon of discussion on how the Critical Raw Materials Act can foster the objectives of the European Green Deal with our distinguished speakers:

  • Mr Daniel Mes, Member of the Cabinet of Vice-President Timmermans, European Commission;
  • Ms Susana Solís-Pérez MEP (Renew/ES);
  • Mr Giles Dickson, CEO, WindEurope;
  • Mr Andreas Sauer, Policy Director, EU Corporate Representation, BMW.

The debate will be moderated by Dr Frank Umbach, Head of Research, European Cluster for Climate, Energy and Resource Security, University of Bonn.

This event is public and will be held online.

This event is kindly supported by


About the debate

On the 14th of September 2022, Commissioner Thierry Breton announced that the European Commission was going to put forward a proposal “to act fast, with ambition, and according to European values and standards” in order to tackle the question of critical raw materials.

At the same time, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, in her State of the Union speech, affirmed that “lithium and rare earths will soon be more important than oil and gas. Our demand for rare earths alone will increase fivefold by 2030. […] We must avoid becoming dependent again, as we did with oil and gas. […] We will identify strategic projects all along the supply chain, from extraction to refining, from processing to recycling”.

This new regulatory and policy framework regarding critical raw materials comes from the realisation that European and global suppliers will not be able to cope with the rapidly increasing demand, putting the EU Single Market at risk of structural supply shortages. Indeed, in the very words of the European Commission, “we are experiencing a global race for the supply [and recycling] of critical raw materials” which “is a major concern for all our industrial ecosystems, pushing them to act, sometimes in a scattered manner”.

The Critical Raw Materials (CRM) Act is indeed poised to become a strategic piece of legislation not only for some sectors of the economy, such as the electric mobility industry, but also for the implementation of the European Green Deal as a whole. Indeed, while recent events have shown concerns coming particularly from the supply chain of the automotive industry, it has been widely acknowledged that the green transition and the process of digitalisation of the economy and society, notably referred as to the “twin transition”, require an extensive use of rare earths.

In this context, the European Commission affirmed that the new legislative proposal should, above all, provide a common understanding of how Europe should foresee its way forward with special regard to the development of resilient value chains, the support to sustainable mining and processing of raw materials in Europe, as well as with regard to the reduction of dependencies by both fostering the reuse of resources while diversifying supplies from responsible third-country players. 

However, several commentators have expressed the urgent need for the European Union as a whole to find more effective means to engage not only with global supply chains in a more pragmatic way, but also with the EU citizens’ understanding of what necessary and responsible steps are needed for the implementation of the green transition on a European scale. In fact, the overlapping of emergencies and an unstable geopolitical environment are both fostering a critical reflection on how the EU should adapt and modulate not only its external policies, but also its internal communication and coordination in the face of the challenges ahead.



The event will start at 16.00 and will last around an hour and a half.

This is a public event, hence the Chatham House Rule will not apply.

The audience will be able to ask questions during both the discussion and the Q&A session through


We look forward to hosting you at 16.00 on the 6th of December.