On Monday the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (AFET) voted on an opinion to a Trade committee report on conflict minerals. With 12 votes in favour, 12 votes against, and an unprecedented 43 abstentions, the Foreign Affairs Committee failed to adopt an opinion in spite of previous attempts to strike compromise.
Green MEP Reinhard Bütikofer, Rapporteur of the AFET Committee's Opinion, said:
"It's a shame that we could not find a majority in the Foreign Relations Committee for a mandatory regulation on conflict minerals transparency. The refusal by a majority of AFET Members to compromise and support such an approach hands a victory to those lobbyists that have always hated the fact that under US law this kind of conflict minerals transparency has become mandatory and have always aimed at undermining this legislation with weaker European rules. The International Trade Committee will now have to consider its report without an Opinion from its Foreign Affairs counterpart. That's a shame but we will continue to fight for an ambitious conflict minerals transparency legislation."
The final vote on conflict minerals is due to take place in the Trade committee in the coming weeks.