On a cold Monday morning Publish What You Pay activists from CAFOD, ONE and Tearfund gathered outside the Ministry of Business to demonstrate their support for transparency in the extractive sector. Dressed up as miners, activists handed out Valentine themed campaign leaflets (which combined “tips for a healthy relationship” with the importance of transparency in the extractive sector. To find out how see the leaflet here) and posed with a giant ‘love truth’ love heart.
The coalition members were calling on the support of the new lead Minister, Norman Lamb MP, who will be representing the UK in Brussels during negotiations on transparency rules for extractive industries. These new transparency regulations were first proposed by the European Commission in October 2011, and would oblige all European listed (and large non-listed) extractive companies to publish what they pay in each country where they operate. This will allow citizens from resource rich countries to see – often for the first time – what payments are being made for their resources. They can start to track the money, holding their governments accountable to ensure that the money goes towards education and health, rather than being lost to mismanagement and corruption.
It is crucial that these rules, which are being discussed in the EU’s Competitiveness Council next week, remain strong and are not watered down to include loopholes. Write to your MEP to ask for strong rules in the extractive sector.