Irina Patrahau (HCSS)
The Netherlands’ geopolitical ambitions for the following decades align with the European Union’s (EU) long-term goals of climate neutrality and digital autonomy. The fulfilment of such goals depends on a secure supply of critical raw materials and manufactured goods, which is problematic given that other countries control large market shares in sectors that are strategic to the Netherlands. In the case of electric vehicles, China currently controls the natural and synthetic graphite supply chain, cobalt processing, as well as battery cell manufacturing. Therefore, it is not just a lack of domestic mining that creates dependencies. The Netherlands and the EU are dependent on other countries for most intermediary sectors of strategic value chains (i.e., materials, components and products).
Based on extensive research done by The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, this presentation will discuss Dutch and European critical dependencies in light of the energy transition, strategies for securing supplies of critical minerals and technologies, as well as implications for strategic autonomy.
About the presenter
Irina Patrahau is a Strategic Analyst at HCSS. Her primary research interest relates to the geopolitics and geo-economics of energy, natural resources and climate. Irina contributes to projects regarding energy market trends and energy security of supply. This includes Europe’s dependence on (Russian) natural gas, global oil market trends, but also developments surrounding low-carbon energy carriers like hydrogen. Her expertise further extends to issues of critical minerals and green technologies (wind, solar, electric vehicles), specifically focusing on the novel geopolitical relations that are emerging as a result of the energy transition.
Irina holds a BSc degree (cum laude) in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations from Leiden University and a minor in Geo-Resources for the Future at the TU Delft. She attained her MSc degree (cum laude) in Political Economy from University of Amsterdam, where she studied the energy relations between China and Eastern Europe in the context of the energy transition. Prior to joining HCSS, she was an intern at Karama Europe, an NGO supporting women’s rights activist groups in the Middle East and North Africa.