Blog: EU regulation on conflict minerals has low potential to trigger dynamic changes in supply chains

Author: Chiara Macchi, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, in Rights as Usual, Published on: 27 October 2016

"The Draft EU Regulation on Conflict Minerals: “Smart Mix” or Missed Opportunity?," 27 Oct 2016

The first version of the EU draft Regulation on conflict minerals…came as a disappointment to the many civil society actors…EU institutions were split, with the Commission and Council favouring a soft approach and the European Parliament proposing…amendments that would impose binding due diligence requirements on both upstream and downstream companies. A political understanding was reached…While a new version of the draft Regulation is not available yet…one question that arises is whether the policy framework emerging from the trilogue, that combines mandatory and voluntary elements, is what the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights define as a “smart mix”, or whether…it constitutes a missed opportunity…

Mandatory due diligence checks for smelters, refiners and direct importers only…

The Regulation is global in scope but its impact may still be limited to certain areas…

The material scope is limited to the 3TG…

The EU…is missing an opportunity...Instead it could have sent out the message…that the corporate responsibility to respect…is not a matter of voluntary initiatives, but of legal compliance for all segments of the supply chain.

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