Historic vote on new rules for the extractive industries

ots-ARLENE MCCARTHY MEP onthespot_0

Historic vote on new rules for the extractive industries

Following today’s vote in Strasbourg, European oil, mining, gas and logging companies will have to disclose the payments they make to governments for access to natural resources.

Euro MP Arlene McCarthy, the European Parliament’s rapporteur for the new transparency laws, said: “The vote today is history in the making. The new rules will be a major new weapon in the global fight against corruption, ensuring that citizens of resource rich countries can hold their governments to account for the exploitation of their natural resources.”

In 2008 alone African oil, gas and mineral exports were worth nine times the value of international aid (296 billion EUR vs 33 billion EUR).

Arlene said: “After today’s vote 70% of the world’s extractive industry will now be covered by tough transparency rules and the European Union has led the way in setting a new global standard for transparency. The adoption of these laws is a watershed moment in the global d rive for greater transparency.”

Euro MP Arlene McCarthy has worked closely with NGOs including The One Campaign, Oxfam, Global Witness and the umbrella group Publish What You Pay (PWYP) in order to secure this tough new law.

Arlene added: “After 18 months of tough negotiations we have a set of EU rules that we can be proud of and that show how effective cooperation, between legislators, citizens and action groups, can deliver real change.”

Ali Idrissa, PWYP Niger Coordinator said: “In Niger, and in other African countries, PWYP members have been campaigning for a transparent and responsible management of natural resources. In revealing payments, this legislation will support us in our campaigning so that we can call on our governments to spend the revenues in a way that will benefit current and future generations.”

“We also need to know what payments are being made so that we can make sure countries are getting a fair share for their resources. Between 14.5 and 21 billion Euros of potential revenue for Niger have been lost since 1960 because of unfair deals.”

Jean-Claude Katende, PWYP DRC Coordinator said: “The DRC is incredibly rich in natural resources, yet many citizens remain in poverty. We have been calling for an effective and fair redistribution of extractive revenues in order to build better lives for our citizens. However, a lack of transparency makes it difficult to ensure that all citizens profit from natural resources. How can you calculate how much revenue a local community should receive, if you don’t know how much has been paid? The EU Directive will help lift the veil on payments so we can ensure they are spent for the public good. Civil society in DRC has been very effective in the EITI process and we look forward to how this legislation will bolster the initiative in the country.”




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