In October 2011, the European Commission proposed that EU-listed and large unlisted extractive companies should publicly disclose their revenue payments to governments worldwide – a revision of the EU Transparency and Accounting Directives mirroring the US Dodd-Frank Act (section 1504) – with the aim of improving transparency and providing investors and citizens with new tools to hold companies and governments accountable for their actions.
The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee took the decision in September 2012 to ratify the proposed changes – this conference examined the impact of the proposed legislation on business practices and communities from the perspectives of multinational extractive organisations, civil society and government.
Key points that arose from the meeting were:
- Tax, trade and transparency are the tools needed to transform the revenues from mineral resources into sustainable development.
- How can resource-rich countries be encouraged to sign up to EITI? It is important for the G8 countries to act quickly and decisively. The G20 countries and BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) also need to participate.
- Reports must be meaningful to all stakeholders (civil society, business and government) but at the same time the obligations must make sense for business.
- On 15 June the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Chancellor, and Business Secretary, will meet to decide how to frame the debate around national and international policy on tax, trade and transparency.