1. Support to Europe 2020
MINATURA2020 directly supports the objectives of “Europe 2020”, the EU’s new growth strategy. Within Europe 2020 the following flagships are of particular relevance:
Resource-efficient Europe that supports the shift towards a resource efficient and low-carbon economy emphasising that a new strategy on raw materials will need to be presented “to create the right framework conditions for sustainable supply and management of domestic primary raw materials”;
Smart growth – Innovation Union that will “revolutionize the way public and private sectors work together”;
Industrial Policy for Green Growth that helps the EU’s industrial base to be „competitive in the post crisis world, promoting entrepreneurship and developing new skills” and thus creating new employment opportunities;
The Digital Agenda for Europe that defines the key role of Information and communications technology (ICT) for Europe to succeed in its ambitions for 2020. The objective of this Agenda is to chart a course to “maximise the social and economic potential of ICT” in further enhancing public access to information.
2. Support to the implementation of the RMI
The European Commission launched the Raw Materials Initiative in November 2008 followed by a detailed analysis of the demand and potential scarcity of defined critical raw materials to the EU in June 2010. These initiatives have pioneered the development of an EU strategy on raw materials emphasizing the concept of the “added value chain”, which continues to pursue the three-pillar strategy to:
Ensuring the fair and sustainable supply of raw materials from international markets, promoting international cooperation with developed and developing countries;
Foster sustainable supply of raw materials from European sources, and
Reduce consumption of primary raw materials by increasing resource efficiency and promoting recycling.
MINATURA2020 supports the development of the second pillar and by starting up discussions on raw materials in a global context it contributes to the support of the first pillar as well.
3. Integrated approach
The above policy/economic drivers serve as a backdrop rationale for the development of a strong campaign for European cooperation such as that outlined in MINATURA2020. All project activities will be carried out in liaison with the Eurostat, embracing the “integrated model” vision proposed in 2009 by providing guidelines for a more holistic and integrated data collection in the EU. In terms of concrete actions, it will be necessary to invest in the development of harmonised approaches for protecting minerals of public importance in Europe. A visionary, high-impact approach is thus required which covers Europe and has the power to connect European actors on raw materials planning and policymaking. By coordinating results from previous and ongoing EC projects MINATURA2020 will be based on the most recent investigations and thus it will provide a contemporary picture of the state-of-the-art.
4. Recommendations towards a concept for a Minerals Deposit Directive
The integration work undertaken during the first part of the project will not only highlight recent achievements in European research, but in particular will also allow to formulate recommendations towards a concept for a Minerals Deposit Directive. The cumulative impact of the project actions on European mineral planning policies and strategies will be far reaching. The project supports current EC objectives in the form of an integrated action and will result in the creation of a European minerals deposit framework that will have the capacity to protect and secure raw materials according to state-of-the-art, harmonised methodology.
In the process of creating a definition of mineral deposits of public importance, a Harmonised Mapping Framework, and most importantly a draft Mineral Deposits Directive, MINATURA2020 will be safeguarding mineral wealth for future generations by defining mineral deposits of public importance in Europe:
Stable and competitive supply of primary mineral raw materials from EU sources.
Improved conditions for sustainable access and supply of primary mineral raw materials in the EU.
Contribution to increased EU raw materials knowledge for different stakeholders, increased transparency of EU raw materials information through completion of an inventory of raw .
Facilitated decision-making at EU, national, regional and local levels and in the minerals industry.
Promotion of good governance and facilitation of public acceptance in the EU.
Increased competitiveness of the EU industry and primary minerals supply from EU sources.
Increased transparency of EU mineral policies and legislation.