September 15, 2022

FEAD welcomes Commission announcement on the launch of a Critical Raw Materials Act

Brussels, 15 September 2022 – FEAD, the voice of Europe’s private resource and waste management industry welcomes the announcement by the Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen regarding the launch of a Critical Raw Materials Act.

In her 2022 State of the European Union (SOTEU) address [1] on 14 September, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that lithium and rare earths are already replacing gas and oil “at the heart” of the European economy, and that EU demand for those earth metals is expected to increase fivefold by 2030.

While several countries, including Australia, Congo and South Africa, are critical to securing EU’s supplies, Von der Leyen highlighted that it is China that controls the global processing industry, with almost 90 % of rare earths and 60 % of lithium being processed there, thus “dominating the market.

“So, we have to avoid falling into the same dependency as with oil and gas [..] This is why today I am announcing a European Critical Raw Materials Act,” the Commission President added, with the EU Executive seeking to replicate the success of the Battery Alliance (EBA), launched in 2017, and to build up “strategic reserves” for the EU.

CRMs (like lithium, cobalt and nickel) are crucial for the sustainable function of the European economy, for European citizens’ everyday life and for key industry sectors. Acknowledging their importance, FEAD is

  • strongly advocating for their recovery and further reutilization, and
  • fully supports the Commission plans to identify strategic projects along the supply chain, including processing and recycling.

Commenting on the announcement, Peter Kurth, FEAD President said:

Undoubtedly, past practices where the EU was dependent on third countries in the energy sector, and in particular, in the field of raw material supply, should be avoided at all costs.
Therefore, welcoming the Commission’s initiative to launch a European Critical Raw Materials Act, FEAD highlights the role the waste management industry could play in addressing the energy and raw material crisis. In times where, for instance, the demand in batteries containing metals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt among others, will be multiplied by 14 by 2030, waste management companies enable the transition to a circular economy by producing resources and energy which can be re-injected back into the economy, thus contributing to EU’s green transition”.

[1] 2022 State of the Union Address by President von der Leyen:

State of the Union Address by President von der Leyen (

FEAD is the European Waste Management Association, representing the private waste and resource management industry across Europe, including 19 national waste management federations and 3,000 waste management companies. Private waste management companies operate in 60% of municipal waste markets in Europe and in 75% of industrial and commercial waste. This means more than 320,000 local jobs, fuelling €5 billion of investments into the economy every year. For more information, please contact:

FEAD Secretariat