Why I support changes to EU legislation on transparency for the extractive industry

The European Commission has published proposals, which seek to amend EU directives on transparency and accounting. The proposals would require extractive companies to report how much they pay to governments.

It is right that some of the profits from mineral extraction should be used to improve lives and reduce poverty in resource rich countries. It cannot be right that resource rich countries experience set backs in development and governance. It is wholly wrong that the people of these countries become the victims of resource misuse and corruption. In these countries, this “resource curse” can fuel human rights abuses as well as political, social and economic insecurity.

The new EU legislation would allow for closer examination as to whether or not developing countries are receiving a fair deal for the exploitation of their resources. The secrecy surrounding payments to governments has often led to large scale corruption, violence and civil war in resource rich countries. This is why I support transparency on a country by country and project by project basis. I believe that country by country reporting can help empower citizens to hold their government to account. Therefore, I welcome the Commission’s recent legislative proposals in this area. In my opinion these proposals will have a positive impact on one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.