The report, drafted by Green German MEP Reinhard Bütikofer, calls for greater EU coordination on raw materials policy, particularly on the external dimension.
"We need to find out how to organise cooperation between member states and the Commission because effective governance is absolute key to the success of an effective raw materials strategy," Bütikofer said.
The report lists a number of instruments to achieve this. It calls for an EU high-level interdepartmental raw materials task force along the lines of French and US examples. The task force would bring together the relevant Commission departments, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Environment Agency and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to draw up, monitor and review policies, including partnership agreements, to ensure strategic coherence.
The task force would also promote the establishment of an early-warning system – a 'risk-radar' – for market distortion and resource-fuelled conflicts.
The Commission's original proposal does not suggest any EU-level governance structures on raw materials.
Speaking to the press ahead of the vote, MEP Bütikofer said that while some member states had been developing their own policies, "national strategies shouldn't be conflicting" with those of the EU. While national strategies represent a "valuable contribution" to the debate, they could also be "a distraction", he argued.
The Parliament's report also highlights the need for an ambitious EU policy on recycling of critical raw materials. The House particularly stressed the importance of recycling rare earths, something that the Commission did not suggest in its original proposal.
The report also urges the establishment of a European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on raw materials – a Commission idea to boost resource efficiency on the field. However, for the time being, Germany has blocked negotiations on the topic in the Council for "no objective reason", Bütikofer said.
With the raw materials innovation partnership likely to be delayed further, the Parliament report calls on the Commission "to make full use of the existing REE [rare earth elements] competency within the EU".
Bütikofer suggested establishing an "EU rare earth competency network," which could later be merged into the innovation partnership once it has been established.
Commission expanding raw materials diplomacy
EU Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani said the Parliament report contained useful recommendations which will help the EU executive improve its strategy.
He also welcomed the Parliament's support for a coherent EU raw materials diplomacy and stressed the importance of mainstreaming it into commercial and other international relations.
Whereas the EU is already cooperating on raw materials with the US, Japan, Chile and the African Union, Tajani noted that he is now seeking similar agreements with Argentina and Brazil by the end of this year. The commissioner will also be travelling to Greenland to discuss a long-term strategy on raw materials between the EU and resource-rich Danish autonomous territory. A high-level EU-Africa conference on raw materials is set to take place on 1 December, Tajani added.
The Italian commissioner also said he would come forward with a legislative proposal to impose mandatory auditing of companies listed on the stock exchange. The legislation will complement the so-called 'Dodd-Frank' bill in the US and to increase transparency in the extractive industries.
The US law requires oil, gas and mining companies listed on Wall Street to publicly disclose their income and tax payments. It also requires companies to certify whether their products contain minerals from rebel-controlled mines in Congo and other countries with oil and mining activities.
A public consultation on the EU's version of the 'Dodd-Frank' act has been held which was now being assessed, Tajani said.