December 15

Products such as electric cars and smartphones rely on bauxite and other raw materials, which are therefore essential for the EU’s digital and ecological transformation.
Nevertheless, the light metal aluminium, which is extracted from bauxite, was initially forgotten by the EU Commission as part of the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA). But is the green transition even possible without a strong, closed and resilient aluminium competence chain?

What is the CRMA and what are its objectives?

The Critical Raw Materials Act presented by the European Commission is a political initiative as part of the Green Deal Industrial Plan. The Act aims to reduce the EU’s dependence on strategic raw materials. This includes materials that are essential for the implementation of the Green Deal and the promotion of sustainable technologies. The CRMA focusses on diversification, circularity and innovation. The law also aims to strengthen the EU’s strategic autonomy by taking measures to become less dependent on external sources of raw materials. This is crucial for safeguarding long-term interests and preserving economic sovereignty.

Aluminium is not initially considered a strategic material

The EU Commission’s decision to exclude aluminium from the CRMA came despite the obvious benefits of aluminium in areas such as e-mobility, renewable energy and other green technologies. This exclusion raised the question of the strategic importance that aluminium actually has for achieving the goals of the Green Deal and the transition to sustainable technologies.

EU policymakers faced fierce criticism and feedback from the Federation of Aluminium Consumers in Europe (FACE), the voice of aluminium consumers in Europe, when they originally excluded aluminium from the CRMA. This led to outrage in the industry. The Federation reprimanded the politicians and accused them of acting contrary to what was necessary and appropriate.

The last-minute uptake of aluminium, along with its main sources bauxite and alumina, highlights the importance of aluminium in driving the green revolution.

The importance of aluminium in various sectors

The key role of aluminium in the development of environmentally friendly mobility solutions, the production of solar panels and batteries and other clean technologies is becoming apparent. The EU Commission’s decision to reassess was hugely important in recognising and appreciating the strategic relevance of aluminium.


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