EU and Norway conclude battery raw materials partnership

The EU and Norway have agreed on a strategic partnership for raw materials and battery value chains. The memorandum of understanding provides for cooperation in five areas, including joint investment projects for the integration of value chains for raw materials and batteries and cooperation in research.

Image: Echion Technologies

On the EU side, the memorandum of understanding was signed by Maros Sefcovic, the EU Commissioner responsible for the Green Deal, while the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, Jan Christian Vestre, signed on behalf of Norway. The new partnership offers a “comprehensive framework for future-oriented and long-term cooperation between the EU and Norway in the area of two value chains of strategic importance”, the EU Commission wrote in the communication. The declared aim is to increase the overall competitiveness of the economies, create high-quality jobs and, above all, reduce the risk of trade disruptions.

The Memorandum of Understanding covers five areas: At the core of the partnership, the value chains of raw materials and batteries are to be integrated, for example through investment projects, joint ventures, consortia or other forms of industrial cooperation. It is important to note that cooperation on raw materials is limited to “land-based raw materials”. Materials that are to be extracted from the seabed off the coast of Norway are excluded from this.

Other areas concern research cooperation programmes such as Horizon Europe, in which Norway is already actively involved. In addition, the high environmental, social and governance standards and practices are to be harmonised through consultations to facilitate their application. The mobilisation of financial and investment instruments to support investment projects is also planned, as well as the development of the necessary skills for high-quality jobs in the raw materials and battery industry.

The next step following the signing of the memorandum of understanding is for the EU and Norway to “work together with stakeholders to implement the roadmap for the partnership”, according to a statement from Brussels. The first joint activities are to take place in April at the Hanover Industrial Trade Fair, where a “business match-making event” is planned.

The declaration of intent goes back to the EU-Norway Green Deal, which was finalised in April 2022. Norway is a mineral-rich country with rare earths, magnesium, titanium, vanadium, phosphate rock and other resources. It also has a large processing capacity for many raw materials. The country’s battery industry has also grown due to the strong EV sector. And the EU is not only a large buyer market for such raw materials due to the phase-out of combustion engines from 2035.

“We are bringing cooperation between the EU and Norway to another level, as today’s signature is of strategic value,” says Sefcovic. “It will create a wide range of business and research opportunities on both sides, strengthening both our industrial base and our political bond.”


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