Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-09-12-Speech-1-072-000"

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". Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to start by expressing my gratitude for the cooperation of all the shadow rapporteurs in the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and my colleagues from many other committees, in particular the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as well as the Commission and the many people from civil society and the worlds of business and science who participated in this process. The fact is that raw materials policy is one of the major challenges for industrial policy. However, it is also one of our greatest opportunities. This is a subject that has become very close to my heart in the last 18 months. I am certain that a very prudent yet ambitious innovation strategy will bring us great success, if we focus our efforts there. Resource efficiency, re-use, recycling or even substitution – these are the key strategies available to us and we should base our future competitiveness on precisely this strategy of innovation. Secondly: setting targets without considering the instruments available to achieve them is rarely a recipe for getting results. That is why it is particularly important that we should think hard about the question and reach specific agreements among ourselves about how to organise cooperation between the Member States and between the Member States and the Commission and genuinely assume responsibility. Effective governance is the key here. Mineral raw materials are at least as important as oil or gas or other natural energy sources, however they are not given the same attention in European cooperation; this is something that has to change. In this report we have indicated a whole series of instruments that will enable us to strengthen governance. We propose a risk radar. We want the Commission to update its list of critical raw materials and to analyse the supply chains. We want a study to be carried out on critical raw materials, such as lithium, which are not currently on the list, but which are of strategic importance. We propose establishing a competency network for rare earths. We are very keen that the initiative of the Commission for an innovation partnership on raw materials efficiency, which has been blocked by some Member States, should finally be given a chance. We want a high-level task force to be established to give strategic coherence to the activities of the various players – the Directorates General, the Joint Research Centre, the European Environment Agency, the European External Action Service and others. We want a raw materials road map by 2050 and an annual progress report for the European Parliament, and we also want to see the laws that we have in the area of recycling, for example in relation to electronic waste, actually being implemented. Thirdly, this report also deals with the external aspects of raw materials policy. The principle I apply here is that we should pursue a reliable strategy of foreign cooperation both with poorer resource-rich countries – in Africa for example – and with strong resource-rich countries. The point here is that Europe, which imports more raw materials per capita than any other region of the world, should take a responsible stance with a raw materials strategy based on cooperation. This means, for example, that when deciding on investments for the extraction of resources in third countries, the European Investment Bank and the Commission should check whether such projects are embedded in a strategy to combat poverty and promote development. Accordingly, transparency laws should be drafted in line with the US model of the Dodd-Frank Act or the publish-what-you-pay principle. This means that development policy is not made subservient to raw materials interests, but rather accepts the raw materials sovereignty of our partners, while at the same time intervening to prevent distortion and promoting cooperation in the common interest. I am certain that, on this basis, the EU will be able to make a very positive contribution to international raw materials governance in the many international bodies that already exist."@en1

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