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14 Sep 2023

European Environmental Bureau (EEB)

EU: Parliament votes to strengthen FPIC principles in CRMA but misses other opportunities to expand their rights

"Critical Raw Materials Regulation Vote Leaves Mixed Feelings", 14 Sep 2023

In a decisive session that unfolded today, MEPs cast their votes on a series of crucial amendments, shaping the path for the EU’s strategy concerning Critical Raw Materials (CRMs). While there were triumphs, notably the approval of the vital FPIC Amendment 11, the results of the vote bring a mix of happiness and disappointment for those pushing for a fair and green approach to raw materials.

The passing of Amendment 11 stands as the day’s highlight, paving the way for a firmer inclusion of FPIC principles in the CRMA, a beacon for protecting the rights of Indigenous people in the planning of important projects. With this, mining, refining, and recycling projects that want to be recognised as strategic — which means they can get faster permits and more funding — would be evaluated based on whether they give communities impacted by their operations the right to give or withhold consent for projects.

Yet, the celebration is tempered with the missed opportunity to strengthen FPIC in certification schemes (AM23) and expand Indigenous people’s rights in the CRMA (AM18). Nevertheless, the ground has been set for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Indigenous communities to exert influence, urging for projects not to be classified as strategic unjustly.

However, discontent brews with the approval of Amendment 4, which introduced elements contrary to the long-nurtured visions of a green and just transition. Disappointment also comes with the rejection of Amendment 9, a crucial pillar that stood against overriding public interests, now leaving the environment and public welfare in a precarious balance...