Natural resource corruption dealt a blow by new EU transparency rules
Transparency International EU warmly welcomes the agreement secured today on new rules for the EU extractive sector that requires oil, gas, mining and logging companies to disclose what they pay to governments around the world. The deal reached by negotiators from the European Parliament and the Irish EU Presidency means that companies will have to disclose details of tax, bonus and other payments made for every project they operate, over a threshold of €100,000. The rules apply to all listed and large unlisted companies registered in the EU without exemption.
Similar rules were agreed for US-listed extractive corporations last year. The combined scope of the rules will cover 90 per cent of the world’s major international extractive companies.
"This legislation will help create a new global benchmark for transparency in the natural resource sector” said Jana Mittermaier, Director of the Transparency International EU Office. “With this information, citizens of mineral-rich countries can ask hard questions of both companies and governments about the deals that they make. The secrecy that surrounds these deals has been fertile ground for the corruption that has too often blighted the development of natural resources.
EU leaders now need to persuade their counterparts at the G8 and G20 to enact similar legislation to ensure that all citizens can benefit from these reforms and that there is a level playing field for extractive companies.”
The G20 will have an opportunity to address these issues at a meeting of finance ministers in Washington DC on 18-19 April. G8 leaders will meet under the UK Presidency at a summit in Northern Ireland on 17-18 June. You can read TI’s letter to G20 finance ministers here .
The legislation follows concerns about the opacity of the operations of major oil and gas companies. A survey of major oil and gas companies by Transparency International in 2008 and again in 2011 found that very few voluntarily disclose financial information at country-level.
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