Insights | EU Insight, 17 November 2023


EU Insight, 17 November 2023

Brussels, 17 November 2023



The Council and the European Parliament reached an agreement on the Critical Raw Materials Act, which was presented under the European Green Deal Industrial Plan. The initiative aims to ensure the EU has secure, diverse, affordable, and sustainable access to critical raw materials for the green and digital transitions. It also aims to leverage the strength of the EU’s single market and sets indicative targets to increase the EU’s internal extraction, refining and recycling capacity of said minerals. Furthermore, the initiative seeks to boost cooperation with reliable trading partners, via the Critical Raw Materials Club.



The Council and the European Parliament reached an agreement on a regulation within the ‘Fit for 55’ package, aimed at reducing methane emissions in the energy sector. The initiative mandates the oil, gas, and coal sectors to measure, report, and verify methane emissions, and implement leak detection and repair strategies to address methane leakages. The regulation also introduces a phased approach for tracking methane emissions in EU imports and sets standards for managing inactive and abandoned wells and mines. This agreement represents a step towards the EU’s climate commitments and aligns EU standards with the Global Methane Pledge.



The European Parliament and Council have taken steps to toughen the EU’s stance on environmental crimes and the regulation of waste shipments. On the former, the EU’s co-legislators agreed to revise the list of environmental offences and include severe penalties for acts such as illegal use of mercury, depletion of water resources, and pollution by ships. Simultaneously, the co-legislators agreed on stricter rules for waste shipments. As a result, the export of plastic waste to non-OECD countries will be banned, and internal EU waste shipments will be tightly regulated. These measures align with the EU’s goals for climate neutrality, circular economy, and zero pollution, marking a step in environmental protection and public health.


European Economic outlook

The European Commission published its Autumn 2023 Economic Outlook. The outlook forecasts economic growth and related indicators for the euro area, EU countries, EU candidate countries, and non-EU countries. Overall, the report underlines that the EU economy has lost its momentum, with stalling growth for 2023 in both the EU and the Euro area, following a robust post-pandemic expansion in 2021 and 2022. While the economy seems to lack a solid growth driver, the report highlights a rapid decline in inflation, since this spring, with further decreases over the coming months. In addition to macroeconomic indicators, the report also points towards the heightened uncertainty and geo-political turmoil in the Middle East and Ukraine, which increased economic and financial risks in the Union.



The Council reached a General Approach on the review of the EU’s cybersecurity act. For context, the original initiative adopted in 2019 established a cybersecurity certification framework across the Union, aiming to foster the prevention, detection, and mitigation of cybersecurity incidents. The ongoing revision of the initiative aims to create certification schemes for ‘managed security services’ in addition to ICT products, services, and process, which are already covered by the original act. This agreement paves the way for the Council to start interinstitutional negotiations with the European Parliament in the coming weeks.



  • 20 November: European Economic Area Council. On the agenda: EEA agreement, economic security.
  • 20 November: Agriculture and Fisheries Council. On the agenda. EU Forest Strategy 2030
  • 21 November: College of Commissioners. On the agenda: European Semester Autumn Package, Forest Monitoring Framework.
  • 20-23 November: European Parliament Plenary. On the agenda: Peace and security in the Middle East, COP28, Rule of law in Spain.
  • 23-24 November: EU-Canada summit. On the agenda. Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, economy, climate & environment, energy, digital society.
  • 23-24 November: Informal meeting of equality ministers.
  • 23-24 November: Education youth culture and sports Council. On the agenda. Digital skills and education, young people’s mental health equality, safe environment in sport.


Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab


Kreab • Tel: +32 2 737 6900 • • Twitter: @KreabEU.