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Trade

Raw materials

Raw materials are the basis of a large number of industrial value chains in the EU. Specific raw materials are needed to make a wide range of industrial goods such as car engines, mobile phones or wind turbines.

Trade topics
  • Trade policy

The EU raw materials industry in a nutshell:

  • A large number of industries use raw materials as inputs, providing a total added value of €1,300 billion.
  • 30 million people are employed in the raw materials' industrial sector.
  • A sustainable supply of particular raw materials is of crucial importance for the development of green technologies.

EU trade policy and raw materials

Raw materials play a significant role in EU trade policy. In concrete terms, the European Commission developed a fully-fledged strategy for raw materials, which was outlined in the 2008 Communication entitled the Raw Materials Initiative. This was revised in February 2011 in a Communication, which further boosted the integration of raw material priorities in EU policies.

EU trade policy is actively committed to ensuring that international raw materials markets operate in a free and transparent manner. For this purpose, the EU’s trade strategy relies on three pillars:

  • Defining the rules of the game through bilateral and multilateral negotiations;
  • Enforcing the rules and tackling market barriers when required, and;
  • Promoting the debate on raw materials, both in bilateral and multilateral settings.

Results on raw materials

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Tune in to trade policy insights

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What does it take to steer EU trade policy through the challenges of our times?

Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis shares his insights into the inner workings of EU trade policy.

19/10/2023 | Episode 1 | 31 minutes

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What does it take to defend open trade and help European companies compete fairly on the global market?

Tom Moylan meets the European Commission’s Chief Trade Enforcement Officer Denis Redonnet and two seasoned trade defence experts.

28/11/2023 | Episode 2 | 34 minutes

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The suspension of import duties and quotas on Ukrainian exports to the European Union will be extended for another year, following today's adoption by the Council and April 23 vote in the European Parliament.

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