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Appeal to activists on conflict minerals and critical raw materials

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Andrea salimbeni
Posts: 8
Joined: 09 Dec 2020 07:19
Country: ITALY
City: Scarperia e San Pier

Appeal to activists on conflict minerals and critical raw materials

Post by Andrea salimbeni »

The Ukraine conflict contributed to worsen the global energy and raw materials crisis that has been affecting the European economy since 2021. This crisis has shown us how our economy is dependent on the import of other raw materials: coking coal from Russia, China; cobalt from Congo, Venezuela, lithium from Zimbabwe, Phosphorus from Morocco, Syria, Algeria. So far, the affordable prices of these resources, which allowed our economy to prosper, have been available thanks to the lower manpower costs and to a reduced protection of workers, the centralized and nationalized management of resources in these countries, and to the uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources, with a reduced protection of the environment. In summary, our welfare exists and thrives, at the expense of the democracy, the sustainability, and the human rights in other countries.

A combined action can be proposed to support European Union to set the path for a new sustainable economy. This action addresses two key initiatives, already approached by the European Commission

• Critical raw materials (CRM) – identified as that list of 20 raw materials of high importance to the EU economy, mainly not available within the EU territory, imported from non-EU countries, with high risk associated with their supply.
• Conflict minerals – consisting in four minerals: tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, included in the EU regulation 2017/821, which requires these minerals to be sourced responsibly and that their supply chains do not help to fund armed conflict or other illegal practices
Despite a strong relevance in the EU sustainable growth, these two initiatives demonstrated to be not enough to change our economy: the activity on Critical raw materials did not bring to any directive, nor to any regulation; moreover, the regulation on conflict minerals addresses only 4 minerals. Furthermore, there is currently no basis under this regulation for Member States to impose penalties for infringement cases;

For this reason, i'm proposing to go for an "Appeal to activists on conflict minerals and critical raw materials". To start this initiative, the following actions could be taken:
- Define an official 1-page text agreed by EUMANS members to be used, and published on our webpage (a draft is attached)
- Make a list of contacts of activists, MEPs, policy makers, associations (I have preliminary identified some)
- Propose the "call to action" to the contacts asking for support/cooperation
- Once obtained a relevant number of supporting organizations, or policy makers, create a Manifesto to be published by all supporting partners

The proposal can be summarized in two key points:

1 - Propose that the regulation 2017/821 on conflict minerals should be integrated with a number of critical raw materials, to be identified among the 20 selected by the EU commission, now mainly imported from countries where human rights are not respected (e.g Cobalt, Lithium, Chromium, Graphite, …).
2 - Ask the EU parliament to clearly mention, in the regulation 2017/821, that human rights respect is considered as a key condition for considering a material “sustainable”. Moreover, a dedicated body should gather information from Member States and monitor the correct observation of rules by companies in all EU countries.
EUMANS_Take care about minerals!.docx
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