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Strasbourg edition

14-15 January 2020 - Strasbourg
The European Precious Metals Federation (EPMF) joined a 'Metals with Ambition' Strasbourg programme organized by Eurometaux

14 January 2020

Panel debate “Circular Economy 2.0: igniting the urban mining revolution” 
The day started with the round of panel debates. In the context of Metals with Ambition programme in Strasbourg, EPMF together with the European Aluminium was sponsoring a panel debate on “Circular Economy 2.0: igniting the urban mining revolution”. Debate was hosted by MEP Mauri Pekkarinen (Finland, Renew) and has attracted MEPs that are involved in circular economy, climate and environment files. Wouter Ghyoot, President of EPMF board (Umicore), made an introduction stressing most critical points of EU Chemicals Regulation and new Circular Economy Action Plan. He posed questions to MEPs on collection of electronics that is still an open issue, waste shipment as well as on EU’s chemicals policy and zero-pollution ambition. All this was taken on board and discussed with MEP Lukas Mandl (Austria, EPP), and new MEP Karin Karlsbro (Sweden, Renew). According to MEP Mandl “EU Green Deal should be an evolution and not a revolution”, he also sees EU industries as partners and agrees with us on better collection of electronics, where not only EU policy makers and industries should get more involved but also EU regions and municipalities. Newly elected MEP Karlsbro emphasized that EU industries and business sector should take lead on ambitious EU Green Deal, because legislation will not solve everything. Another point – research, EU needs more research and scientific proof. Closing words by MEP Mandl “Thank you for creating jobs and thank you for only asking predictability in Regulations!”. Thank you, Lukas Mandl, we are working on it!
Involvement in such panel debate is a good opportunity for EPMF to gain closer insights into key EU policies that will be on the table in the EU Parliament and EU Commission for the next legislative period. This was also the occasion to share our key messages and proposals regarding Circular Economy and the need for consistency with Chemicals Management. 



High-level MEP Dinner
On the evening of the same day France Capon, Secretary General of EPMF, and Wouter Ghyoot, President of EPMF board (Umicore), have joined a high-level dinner. Cosy atmosphere, friendly environment and of course a glass of good Alsace wine created a perfect occasion to once again touch upon precious metals industry and to discuss some key EU issues in more details. Number of MEPs dealing not only with EU Circular Economy or environmental policies were eager to discuss topics relevant to EPMF, naturally in a more relaxed and informal way. 

15 January 2020

Bilateral meetings – MEPs outreach
The first meeting was already on the 14th of January with the assistant of MEP Nils Torvalds (FI, Renew). We have introduced precious metals industry and passed on our messages and expertise in the fields of circular economy, environment and sustainability, namely collection of electronics and waste shipment. It was also agreed to have a follow-up meeting with MEP Torvalds in Brussels in due course. On the second day in Strasbourg we have met MEP Maria Arena (Belgium, S&D, ENVI substitute). It was a joint meeting with Cobalt Institute and together we have discussed chemical management and due diligence. MEP Arena is very much aware of these issues and that helped us to be more specific and concrete in some political asks, e.g. EU Conflict Minerals Regulation and the gold threshold, clear rules on waste exports and better enforcement of international rules. In the afternoon we also had an exchange with the assistant of MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen (Finland, EPP, ENVI substitute), who unfortunately had to skip the EP Plenary session in Strasbourg and to move our bilateral meeting to Brussels. 
Meeting with her assistant was a good opportunity for us to set the ground for the future meeting with MEP Pietikäinen. We have showed how precious metals industry is contributing to the new Circular Economy Action Plan. Topics touched upon were – urban mining (as a key for the precious metals industry and its users, and as a part of EU’s Circular Economy strategy to keep resources in the European economy), encouragement to move towards a risk-controlled environment to ensure a safe manufacturing and the use and recycling of metals with appropriate risk management along the entire value chain.
On a side note, on the same day the EU Parliament overwhelmingly supported the EU Commission’s proposal on EU Green Deal. 

Social Event

Are you heavy metal? Or are you classic gold? – that was the question of the evening.  Metals with Ambition programme was concluded by a fun though educative part – metal themed pub quiz for MEPs assistants and political advisors. It was a pleasure to welcome them on behalf of metals commodity associations in one of the brasseries in Strasbourg. All got to learn a bit more about each other and hopefully a fun fact or two about metals!
Now, a question to you all: Which French president said: “There can be no other criterion, no other standard than gold. Yes, gold which never changes, which can be shaped into ingots, bars, coins, which has no nationality, and which is eternally and universally accepted as the unalterable fiduciary value par excellence."

Bonne chance!  

Correct answer: Charles de Gaulle
European Precious Metals Federation a.i.s.b.l.
Avenue de Broqueville 12
B-1150 Brussels
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