Putting an end to profits from the trade of minerals being used to fund armed conflicts while promoting responsible sourcing from conflict-affected areas is the aim of the European Parliament’s Report on an EU system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold (3TG) originating from conflict-affected and high-risk areas. The Report was drafted by EPP Group MEP Iuliu Winkler and voted on today in the International Trade Committee.
Iuliu Winkler stressed that the compromise achieved today will help both the local communities of the conflict areas and the European stakeholders: “It is a very important consensus that we have reached today between the EPP, ECR and ALDE Groups in order to adopt an efficient and workable Regulation capable of focusing on two priorities: empowering local communities in the conflict-affected areas, and increasing the responsible behaviour of all the stakeholders involved in trade.”
The compromise reached by the EPP, ECR and ALDE Groups on the conflict minerals Regulation is based on two priorities: to help and assist the local communities on the ground affected by illegal mining and trade activities conducted or supervised by armed groups with the aim of illegally appropriating profits from economic activity. The second priority is to increase the responsibility of all the stakeholders, first of all European industry, in a common effort towards transparency, and control of the use of the 3TG from conflict areas.”
According to the Rapporteur, the goal of breaking the link between minerals extraction, trade and the financing of armed conflicts can be achieved by an efficient Regulation based on the voluntary self-certification of the companies involved: “Educating the stakeholders is only possible by a responsibility-based voluntary approach”, emphasised Winkler. EU smelters and refiners of 3TG will be obliged to participate in the European due diligence self-certification systems.
“We are inviting the S&D Group to join our common position and be a partner in the adoption of an efficient conflict minerals Regulation, expected by the EU citizens and much needed by the local communities of the Democratic Republic of Congo and other conflict-affected regions around the world”, concluded Winkler.