29 Mar 2011

Worth the wait? The EU’s latest Communication on Raw Materials

Roderick Kefferpütz

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After numerous delays, the European Commission’s second Raw Materials Communication has now been published. Initially foreseen for November 2010 under the guidance of Enterprise and Industry Commissioner Tajani, the document finally saw the light of day in February 2011, after having been more or less appropriated by the cabinet of President Barroso.

The Communication did not turn out to be quite what everyone was expecting, however. Instead of being a practical follow-up to the EU’s 2008 Communication on the Raw Materials Initiative (RMI), half of the document, initially planned to be released as a separate paper, now deals exclusively with the interdependence between financial and commodity markets. This is due in no small part to a late intervention from France, who wanted to bolster its G20 priority of combating speculative behaviour on commodity markets.

In this Commentary, Associate CEPS Research Fellow Roderick Kefferpütz explains why the EU needs to build a more coherent and nuanced strategythat tackles crucial and short-term challenges in the area of raw materials.