EU agrees landmark anti-corruption law for global resource companies

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Posted by APM on 9th Apr 2013

The EU has today agreed ground-breaking new rules forcing oil, gas, mining and logging companies to publish details of the payments they make to governments for access to natural resources around the world.

The European Parliament and Council have agreed that the EUs Accounting and Transparency Directives will require all EU-listed and large, privately owned oil, gas, mining and logging firms to disclose the payments they make to governments. Companies will be required to publish all payments over 100,000 including taxes, royalties and licence fees and do so wherever they operate around the world. The directive brings Europe in to line with the U.S. which introduced similar financial disclosure laws in 2010 through the Dodd-Frank Act.

Crucially, the directive will require the publication of information made for each individual resource project companies invest in thereby allowing communities to monitor payments from extraction projects in their local areas. The EU has also rejected calls from industry to include a loophole in the law which, if adopted, would have exempted companies from publishing payments in certain countries, potentially enabling illicit payments to be made unseen.

The MEPs Arlene McCarthy and Klaus-Heiner Lehne championed the transparency provision in the directive with support from across the EU political spectrum including ALDE (liberals), Greens, Socialist and EPP (conservative) groupings.

The Directives will go to plenary in Parliament for final approval, expected in June of this year.

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