The European Parliament today voted on draft EU legislation aimed at preventing conflict minerals through supply chain transparency. The vote significantly strengthened the original draft law proposed by the Commission by creating binding transparency rules, which would apply to firms throughout the supply chain. After the vote, Green development spokesperson Judith Sargentini, who drafted an earlier European Parliament report calling for binding transparency rules (1), said:
“Binding rules on transparency for firms involved in the production and trade of minerals are crucial for keeping conflict minerals out of Europe. The European Parliament has today set out its stall by voting for binding transparency rules for all companies and we will now work to convince EU governments to ensure this is reflected in the final legislation. We need to ensure these rules go as far as possible to prevent conflict minerals from entering the EU market in goods and everyday products.
"The voluntary approach has not been effective and it is high time for Europe to tackle this issue with binding rules, as the US did a number of years ago. Importantly, MEPs voted to ensure these rules will not just apply to a limited number of firms that import raw materials but will also target other companies in the supply chain, so that final consumer goods like tablets and mobile phones are also covered. This is essential to ensure Europe plays a proactive role in ending the link between minerals trade and conflict, and ensuring the extraction of minerals and resources in developing countries leads to development and improvement of the lives of their societies at large."
(1) In 2014, the European Parliament adopted an initiative support by Judith Sargentini on conflict minerals with a large majority, which called for binding transparency rules for all firms in the mineral supply chain.