EIT RawMaterials CEO Bernd Schäfer speaks at first French Presidency Conference

On 13 January 2022 in Paris, Bernd Schäfer, CEO and Managing Director of EIT RawMaterials, spoke at the first French Presidency Conference: a stronger industry for a more autonomous Europe.

The event was the first of France’s presidency of the European Council, and focused on ‘a stronger industry for a more autonomous Europe’.

This was the first event of the French Presidency of the European Council, which began on 1 January 2022, and also the opening event in the Competitiveness Agenda. During the conference, high-level public and private sector panelists focused on the actions needed to secure European supplies of critical raw materials. They discussed the need for a more strategic approach to European vulnerabilities, similar to what major partners and competitors are doing. Furthermore, they examined the tools, like IPCEIs, and the funding to be effectively mobilised or developed to strengthen the resilience of European industries.

As part of this event, EIT RawMaterials CEO Bernd Schäfer gave a keynote speech on the topic of how to reduce EU dependencies in raw materials. Mr Schäfer’s speech raised the issues of raw materials investment, diversification, the need for a level playing field, the circular economy, standards and regulations and the urgent need for responsible mining that meets only the highest ethical and environmental standards.

European industries and research institutions are recognised leaders in everything from automation, digitalisation to best practice in mining. It is within Europe’s reach to become the world leading producer of sustainably sourced raw materials.                                                                                                           

Bernd Schäfer, CEO and Managing Director of EIT RawMaterials.

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Mr Schäfer also participated in a panel of experts including Philippe Varin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Suez; Hildegard Bentele, Member of the European Parliament; Matti Hientanen, CEO of the Finnish Minerals Group; Denis Redonnet, Deputy Director-General Trade/Chief Trade Enforcement Officer of the European Commission; and Raul Blanco Diaz, Secretary General for Industry and SMEs at the Spanish Ministry for Industry, Trade and Tourism.

Read the speech