Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-09-12-Speech-1-109-000"

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". Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to thank everybody for their contributions. I would also thank the Vice-President of the Commission Mr Tajani for his comments and, in particular, for his support for the establishment of a competency network for rare earths and the other practical suggestions he has made; thank you Mr Tajani. A lot has rightly been said about the extraction of raw materials on the domestic front. I believe there is a lot of work to do in this area. However, we must also take a sensitive approach to ecologically sensitive areas. As the report also states, it is important that we should not falsely cast industrial policy and conservation as two opposing movements. That is why I was pleased that the Directorate-General for the Environment and the Directorate-General for Enterprise were able to reach an agreement. Urban mining is important. We could say that our mines also include the old laptops and mobile phones we all have languishing in the back of a cupboard somewhere. The fact is, we have to make recycling an economic solution. My reason for saying this is that last week I attended the opening of the world’s most modern recycling plant for lithium batteries. This is also something that must become an economic solution. Cradle to cradle is a wonderful prospect. We need to make waste an old-fashioned word. We need further discussions on stockpiling. I hear different opinions coming from the Commission. I know, for example, that Mr De Gucht takes a very critical view of this issue. I am not yet convinced about how we can manage the stockpiling of rare earths, for example, when China is continuing to reduce production. We can discuss this, however. I would like to state expressly to Ms Girling, who is no longer in the Chamber: we need to proceed with circumspection in all of these questions and impact assessments are required. Finally, another word on external affairs: I do not see raw materials policy as neocolonialism. Otherwise the Commission and Parliament would never have recognised the principle of the sovereignty of raw materials. For me it is important that no time should be lost. We need to cooperate with the US and Japan. However we must also recognise, for example, that Japan is currently investing heavily in research aimed at developing substitution strategies."@en1

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