Date: January 26, 2012, 1:34 pm


Pace gathers for strong extractive transparency laws in Europe
Euro-MP meets with African campaigners and pledges support for robust rules 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                       
Thursday, January 26, 2012
BRUSSELS - The push for stronger transparency laws for oil, gas and mining companies is gathering pace. The European Parliament and Council are currently examining potentially groundbreaking legislation that would require all European listed as well as large private oil, gas, mining and logging companies to disclose the payments they make to governments around the world on a project by project basis.  
Arlene McCarthy, the European Parliament’s rapporteur for the EU Transparency Directive[1] met with Publish What You Pay campaigners from Chad, Ghana and Niger yesterday.
Ms McCarthy said: “Talking to civil society representatives from Africa has confirmed the enormous benefits country-by-country reporting for EU companies will have on developing countries.
Especially project-level disclosure will allow local communities in resource-rich countries to expose any corruption and hold their governments accountable for using revenues towards development.
With more information for European investors too, and a more stable operating environment for companies, this is a win-win situation and I intend to push for the strongest possible measures on transparency.”
In 2008, exports of oil and minerals from Africa were worth roughly €297 billion, nearly 9 times the value of international aid to the continent (€33 billion). Commenting on the meeting Steve Manteaw from Ghana and Chair of the PWYP Africa Steering Committee said: “We welcomed the opportunity to meet with Ms McCarthy to bring our concerns to her. This legislation will make a real difference in our ability to ensure the revenues generated from our natural resources benefit everyone rather than a select few.
What we need are strong laws that are fit for purpose. This means no exemptions being granted to companies under any circumstance and strong project-level reporting which will enable communities and local governments to track the payments owed to them.”
Today’s meeting comes on the heels of a speech Bill Gates made this week in the European Parliament where he reiterated his call for the G20 countries to endorse legally binding transparency requirements in the extractive industries and voiced his support for the EU rules currently under consideration.


The Transparency Directive is one of two directives (the other being the Accounting Directive) where the European Commission has proposed to introduce country-by-country and project-by-project reporting for the extractive and logging industries:
Publish What You Pay (PWYP) is a global civil society network with over 600 member groups across more than 50 resource-rich countries like Nigeria, Angola, Cambodia and Kazakhstan which are united in their call for oil, gas and mining revenues to form the basis for development and improve the lives of ordinary citizens in resource-rich countries.

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