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24 November 2016

Conflict Minerals agreement reached

The final EU agreement reached on 22 November on conflict minerals is a positive, but half-hearted, step towards cleaning up Europe’s trade in minerals. EU legislators concluded their negotiations on a new law on so-called ‘conflict minerals’—a Regulation which is meant to ensure that minerals entering the EU do not finance conflict or human rights violations. Certain EU companies will, for the first time, be legally required to take responsibility for their mineral supply chains and to take steps to prevent their trade being linked to conflict or human rights abuses. However, a string of concessions and last-minute loopholes could undermine the Regulation’s impact, as they exempt a large number of companies from the law.

 “Considerable improvements have been made compared to the first EC proposal, which was achieved under great civil society pressure, also with CEEweb for Biodiversity’s involvement, and with valuable support from the European Parliament and some Member States.  However, a string of concessions and last-minute loopholes could undermine the Regulation’s impact, as they exempt a large number of companies from the law. It is now up to the Member States to show that they are serious about making sure these exemptions do not undermine the Regulation’s stated aims” said Senior Policy Officer at CEEweb for Biodiversity Klara Hajdu.

Civil society organisations are today calling on the EU and its Member States to show that they are serious about making sure these exemptions do not undermine the Regulation’s stated aims.

For more information, you may read the joint press release with Amnesty International, Global Witness, EurAc, PowerShift and other civil society organisations.