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The EU and Ukraine have launched a strategic partnership on raw materials, with the aim of better integrating the value chains of raw materials and batteries. Vice President Maro Å efÄoviÄ and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal signed a Memorandum of Understanding underpinning the partnership during the High level conference.
The strategic partnership with Ukraine will include activities along the value chain of critical primary and secondary raw materials and batteries, and in line with EU objectives Critical Raw Materials Action Plan, it will help to diversify, strengthen and secure the supply of critical raw materials to both parties, essential to the achievement of green and digital transitions. The partnership will also be decisive in preserving global competitiveness and developing the resilience of European and Ukrainian industry.
Today’s signing is the first tangible result in the framework of enhanced cooperation between the European Union and Ukraine in the fields of European Green Agreement and the Industrial strategy. It follows on from the mutual commitment and interest expressed during the 7e Association Council meeting between the EU and Ukraine on February 11, 2011.
Concrete areas of work of the partnership
More specifically, the strategic partnership signed today will aim to develop three key areas of work, as defined in the Memorandum of Understanding.
- First, it focuses on bringing together mining policy and regulatory frameworks, and in particular environmental, social and governance criteria in all activities.
- Second, the partnership aims to better integrate critical raw materials and battery value chains to develop mineral resources in Ukraine in a sustainable and socially responsible manner. To do this, he will engage the European Raw Materials Alliance and the European Battery Alliance as platforms for EU and Ukraine stakeholders, including finance and investment organizations, to collaborate and develop joint venture projects and other business opportunities. For this purpose, the vice-president Å efÄoviÄ officially accepted the membership of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine to the two European industrial alliances.
- Finally, the partnership also encourages closer collaboration in research and innovation along the raw material and battery value chains using Horizon Europe.
In addition, the EU and Ukraine have approved a first roadmap, a set of concrete activities and joint projects to advance the strategic partnership during the period 2021-2022. Concretely, this will help to:
- Develop a low carbon strategy and roadmap to decarbonize the extraction, extraction and processing of raw materials in Ukraine;
- Strengthen the sustainable and responsible sourcing and processing of raw materials and batteries in Ukraine by organizing capacity building events for public administration and training for companies;
- Digitize and strengthen data management of Ukrainian mineral resources / reserves by creating a âdata roomâ – a repository with digital geological reports, and by downgrading and reassessing raw material reserves using international standards;
- Improve the use of Earth observation and remote sensing programs to enhance exploration for new resources and monitor the environmental performance of mines during operations and after closure;
- Identify and lead joint venture projects for industrial and investment players from the EU and Ukraine using the business investment platforms of European industrial alliances.
The EU and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources have also launched cooperation on the EU technical assistance within the framework of the strategic partnership. The EU has completed its 2021 technical assistance program to Ukrainian government and businesses of â¬ 750,000. Substantial additional assistance for capacity building, training and studies is planned from 2022.
European banks, namely the EIB and the EBRD, will also mobilize financial and investment instruments to support concrete actions within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding and the Roadmap.
Today’s strategic partnership has been developed within the existing framework of the EU-Ukraine High Level Industry Dialogue – Raw Materials Working Group. This collaborative structure will also be used for monitoring and discussion of issues relevant to its implementation. A regular biennial high level meeting, at ministerial level, will take stock of the strategic partnership, discuss possible new collaborations and approve future roadmaps.
Members of the College said:
Vice President Maro Å efÄoviÄ, responsible for interinstitutional relations and foresight, said: âI am honored to launch, on behalf of the EU, this strategic raw materials and batteries partnership with Ukraine. This new chapter of EU-Ukraine cooperation will not only strengthen our political bond, but also offer a wide range of opportunities for European and Ukrainian industry – and ultimately help to create and preserve local jobs in fields of the future. , intrinsically linked to green and digital transitions.
Commissioner Thierry Breton, responsible for the internal market said: âI am happy to see the concrete results of the Commission’s action plan on critical raw materials. This partnership will help diversify the EU’s supply of raw materials and address some of the strategic dependencies identified in the updated industrial policy strategy. The high potential of critical raw material reserves in Ukraine, as well as the need for modernization of its extractive industry underpinned by the improvement of the legal and administrative framework for investors and the geographical proximity, represent a solid basis for the mutually beneficial partnership.
Commissioner Olivier Varhelyi, responsible for the district and the enlargement said: âThe Strategic Partnership on Raw Materials and Batteries will allow us to strengthen the economic ties launched under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). This will contribute to enhanced resilience of the economy – a key objective of the recently adopted economic and investment plan for the Eastern Partnership, in the implementation of which Ukraine will play an important role.
For Europe, this is already the second commodity partnership recently signed, after the partnership with Canada signed on June 15, 2021.
In September 2020, the Commission published a Critical Raw Materials Action Plan, to meet current and future challenges, and proposes actions to reduce Europe’s dependence on third countries. To do this, it proposes to diversify the supply from primary and secondary sources, improve the efficiency and circularity of resources while promoting responsible sourcing worldwide. The action plan aims to foster Europe’s transition to a green and digital economy and, at the same time, to strengthen Europe’s resilience and open strategic autonomy in the key technologies necessary for this transition.
Likewise, the Commission adopted a Strategic action plan for batteries in 2018, which defines a comprehensive framework of measures to support all segments of the battery value chain, following the launch of the European Battery Alliance implemented in 2017.
The EU-Ukraine Strategic Partnership on Raw Materials and Batteries is the second strategic partnership launched by the EU and will help achieve the key objectives of the Critical Raw Materials Action Plan. The partnership on raw materials and batteries is also based on the Strategic energy partnership signed with Ukraine in 2016, which helped to bring two energy markets closer together by progressing with infrastructure development and approximation of legal frameworks.