Transatlantic Cooperation on Access to Sustainably Sourced Raw Materials

25 Oct 2011 12:00
25 Oct 2011 14:30

The Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, in cooperation with the Institute for European Environmental Policy, kindly invite you to attend the upcoming policy forum on 25 October with:

  • Mr Paul Anciaux, DG Enterprise and Industry, European Commission
  • Ms Ashley Miller, US Mission to the European Union
  • Mr Kevin Opstrup, US Mission to the European Union

This policy forum discusses cooperation between the United States and the European Union, as manufacturing and consuming economies, to ensure secure and sustainable access to raw materials. Today’s high-tech economies are becoming more reliant on raw materials that are mined in conflict zones or whose mining is concentrated in specific regions of the world (for example in China, which wields significant control over the short-term supply of rare earth minerals). This situation has implications in terms of environmental protection, sourcing or avoiding materials from conflict zones, and corresponding issues of human rights, as well as issues related to recycling and consumption patterns in consumer countries. Both the EU and the US have recognised the associated concerns and have begun to address the issue.

Against this broader global context, the discussion on transatlantic cooperation will centre on the following questions:

  • Why is transatlantic cooperation on accessing (sustainably sourced) raw materials important?
  • What are the major trade-offs involved in ensuring a secure supply of raw materials?
  • How do existing cooperation mechanisms ensure the protection of the environment and of human rights?
  • How can transatlantic cooperation be improved?
  • What is the future of worldwide raw materials supply and trade?

Registration & Venue

Participation is free of charge and open to all but, due to space limitations, registration is required. To register, please send an e-mail to

The programme starts at 12:00 with a lunch reception, followed by the presentation at 12:30.

Institute for European Studies
Karel Van Miert Building
Pleinlaan 5
1050 Brussels
[Map & directions]