EU chief von der Leyen calls for stepping up economic security

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says the European Union will work on legislation to reduce its reliance on certain countries for key materials such as rare earths.

Von der Leyen delivered her annual State of the Union address at the European Parliament on Wednesday.

She said she is proposing legislation to diversify suppliers and build up reserves of key raw materials to reduce the EU's reliance on China and certain other countries for them.

She also said dependency on Russian fossil fuels comes at a high price. The EU chief said Russia's invasion of Ukraine "is not only a war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine. This is also a war on our energy.
It's a war on our economy. It's a war on our values. It is a war on our future."

Von der Leyen also mentioned EU legislation to screen foreign direct investment for security concerns.

She said she aims to introduce such a screening system on foreign financial support in fields such as education and research as well. She said EU members need to better shield themselves from malign interference and protect the values of democracy.