By Dave Keating
As EU policymakers worry about global tensions threatening raw material imports, one option could be getting more from their own backyard.
When Europeans think of mining, they may think of an old-fashioned activity from another era. Over the past 50 years mining activity in the European Union has gone from being a very visible driver of European economic growth to an activity that is more out of sight and out of mind.
But with raw material access coming into question, mining in Europe may be coming back into the spotlight.
Today, the EU imports most of the materials it uses rather than mining them itself. It is a net importer of raw materials, in which it has had a trade deficit since 2002. Last year that trade deficit stood at €31 billion.