On September 22nd, the European Commission and the Government of Serbia signed a letter of intent to initiate work on a strategic partnership in the areas of batteries and critical raw materials, which includes lithium. The European Commission reminds that the proposed Law on Critical Raw Materials includes standards until 2030 for increasing domestic capacities for extraction, processing, refining and recycling of strategic raw materials.
The fact that the letter of intent between Serbia and the European Union was signed on September 22nd was confirmed by the President of Serbia on his Instagram account with the words:
The European Commission said that the letter of intent opens up the possibility of closer cooperation in the field of critical raw materials, which is confirmed by the Stabilization and Association Agreement, and existing economic ties, and within the framework of Serbia’s candidacy for EU membership.
“The resource potential for several critical raw materials in Serbia follows an ambitious strategy for the development of vertically connected e-mobility, which is in line with the technological progress of the European Union and which implies a rounded production cycle: in research, extraction, processing and production, including recycling and reclamation In addition to all that, the geographical proximity is a good basis for starting a partnership dialogue,” they stated in a written response from the European Commission.
How long is the road to realization?
Professor of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Aleksandar Jovović, explains that the memorandum of cooperation does not mean that it will lead to any serious project, but also states that it would be good to have serious projects considering that this is not only about exploitation, but also about research in the field of critical raw material.
When asked how long it takes from the signing of the letter of intent to its implementation, Jovović states that it depends on both parties, but also emphasizes that the European Commission is interested because it is necessary to have the largest possible amount of critical raw materials, i.e. critical materials in order to produce a sufficient number of vehicles and all other renewable resources that cannot be produced from materials that have been exploited so far, such as steel.
He says that a large number of projects are emerging on the territory of the EU, for which it is also not known to what stage they will be developed.
“On the other hand, there is our side that needs to take certain steps, if nothing else to show seriousness in further consideration of potential projects, not to give up so easily, but also not to neglect the interests of its own country and its own population. What is good when you have contracts with the EU, i.e. the EC, you are raising the standard of quality of exploitation, occupational safety and environmental protection, because then projects that are not in accordance with Union regulations force your other producers of other raw materials to work according to EU standards. European companies that came to Serbia since 2000 introduced standards and raised the quality of work in a certain area, even in the cement industry. It’s good that you have the EU and the EC as partners,” said Jovović.