TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL WELCOMES EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT VOTE TO SHED LIGHT ON NATURAL RESOURCES SECTOR

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transparency internationalTransparency International EU warmly welcomes today’s European Parliament votes supporting, with an overwhelming majority, new rules for the EU extractive sector that require oil, gas, mining and logging companies to disclose what they pay to governments around the world.

After confirmation by the EU’s Council of Ministers, the bill voted on by the European Parliament today will require companies to disclose details of tax, bonuses 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 65 per cent of the value of the global extractives market.

“This legislation will help create a new global benchmark for transparency in the natural resource sector,” said Ronny Patz, Communications Officer 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. EU member states should set a good example and ensure rapid implementation of the EU directive into their own national law.”

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 ahead of their April 2013 meeting 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.