TLDR, as examples:
the EU seems to envisage an "Airbus for batteries", down to the raw minerals being from EU production. State aid is obviously part of the equation. (Much more on this in the next "section".)
EU's API (active pharmaceutical ingredients) strategy in view of the lessons of Covid-19 is still being finalized, but there are some prior examples of EU "reshoring" in that field too, e.g.
Sandoz’s deal with the Austrian government to invest more than $175 million at its site in Kundl, Austria, Europe’s last large antibiotics plant. “This is really small change for a production site that supplies half of Europe with penicillin,” van den Hoven [at Medicines for Europe] says.
On batteries and their minerals...
Not sure how substantive this is, but there's a European Raw Materials Alliance that was launched this autumn:
As Europe emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, it must boost its “own domestic capacity for primary raw materials” as well as secondary materials obtained through recycling and re-use, Breton [EU’s internal market commissioner] said.
But opening new mines in Europe isn’t the whole solution, he added.
“It is not sufficient to have the raw materials if we do not have the processing facilities in Europe,” he warned, saying loopholes need to be closed across the raw materials value chain.
At the moment, Europe is heavily reliant imported raw materials from a small number of foreign countries. China provides 98% of the EU’s rare earth elements, while Turkey supplies 98% of the bloc’s borate and South Africa covers 71% of the EU’s needs for platinum.
“There are also many of these materials present in Europe. And that’s the good news,” he said, citing reserves of cobalt, bauxite, beryllium, bismuth, gallium, germanium, indium, niobium and borate.
The pressing question now is how fast Europeans can develop mining, refining and recycling capacities and how dependent it will be on imports while it does so.
In some cases, the Commission believes Europe can move swiftly. On lithium, for instance, Breton said the EU is positioning itself to be almost self-sufficient by 2025.
For rare earths, the process will be longer, officials told EURACTIV. The aim is to have European mining and refining capacity operational by the start of the next decade. In the meantime, that means ensuring “diversified and undistorted access to global markets for sustainably sourced raw materials,” Breton said.
There's not much analysis that I can find on its putative impact. E.g. Bloomberg / Reuters only quoted reactions from European sources like:
The commission initiative on Thursday was hailed by Eurometaux, a Brussels-based association that represents non-ferrous metals producers and recyclers in Europe.
“We are very enthusiastic that this is happening and we are very happy to work with the commission to make sure that this is a success,” Mikael Staffas, Eurometaux’s president and chief executive officer of Sweden-based Boliden AB, said in an interview.
But the plan seems linked to the already ongoing “European battery alliance” started in 2017, which is linked to the building of some battery "gigafactories" e.g. those of Northvolt in Sweden and Germany.
Supposedly, new EU regulations from December this year envisage something like "battery passports" which would trace down the components, down to minerals' origins:
This will include “something like battery passports that will ensure easy access to information about key parameters of batteries and their origin,” including the raw materials that went into the manufacturing process, [EU commissioner Maroš] Šefcovic said.
“We also want to make sure that we will be working with raw materials that are traceable and respect ecological, labour and other standards. This is important for European consumers.”
In April this year, a lithium mining project in the Czech Republic secured €29.1 million in funding and is expected to become the first EU producer of battery-grade lithium compounds. In July, global mining giant Rio Tinto announced a decision to invest nearly $200 million in a lithium-borate project in Serbia.
For rare earths, which are used in magnets founds in wind turbines and electric motors, it will be a longer shot. The EU is currently 100% dependent on imports but the Commission hopes the first European mines could open as soon as 2030.
“We also have rare earth reserves in Europe, which until now, have not been fully explored,” Šefčovič said. “This is why countries like France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Greenland and Norway, are looking into it.”
To diversify supplies, Europe is also looking to the Western Balkans – notably, Serbia and Albania – as well as Ukraine, which “have very solid reserves of most of these critical raw materials,” Šefčovič added.
Note that a 2019 article in Politico was a lot less enthusiastic about EU's battery plans, with a headline like
Germany’s industrial plan signals Europe’s protectionist lurch
EU taking a leaf out of China’s book in seeking to build heavyweight champions
although most of the article talks about controversial proposals to relax EU's competition regulations to allow mega-mergers like Alstom-Siemens, which was blocked by the EU Commission last year.
But state aid is part of the equation for this new battery champion of the EU ("Airbus for batteries" in the commissioner's words):
Step one came late last year when seven countries led by France and Germany secured approval from Brussels to splash out €3.2 billion in state aid to build out Europe's stake in a battery technology market estimated to be worth an annual €250 billion by 2025. [...]
A second batch of state aid applications — billed as even bigger than the first — is being prepared to further ramp up Europe's battery plan.
[...] the EIB expects to set aside at least €1 billion a year in loans for battery projects within the 27-country bloc over the next four years, alongside the injection of public funds from the Commission and national capitals.