Government sets about tackling raw materials problem

The government has submitted a memorandum on raw materials to the House of Representatives, setting out what the Netherlands and Europe need to do to make a national raw materials policy possible. The memorandum was prompted by global changes in raw materials extraction and consumption.

One of the memorandum’s conclusions is that states worldwide are increasingly involved in ensuring a secure supply of raw materials. This is why the government believes national policy on such resources should be encouraged in addition to EU policy. The memorandum, drafted by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Economic Affairs, Agriculture & Innovation and Infrastructure and the Environment, is the first step in this process.

In the memorandum, the government stresses that it is primarily the responsibility of companies to ensure they can source the materials they require. But civil society, research institutions and governments also play a role, and they will be involved in follow-up action.

The government is also looking to strengthen bilateral relations with countries to safeguard the supply of raw materials and the delivery of important semimanufactured products. The government will also defend the free trade system, which is crucial for the Netherlands as a transit country.