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The EU must seize the opportunity to keep conflict minerals out of Europe
Author: Patrick Alley, Global Witness, on EurActiv (Belgium), Published on: 27 February 2014
If the European Commission wants to help cool the 40% of inter-state conflicts linked to natural resources, it needs to propose legislation ensuring that European consumers can buy conflict-free goods, says Patrick Alley [founding Director of Global Witness.]...At the beginning of last year the European Commission announced its intention to bring in regulations that would ensure responsible sourcing by European companies of minerals from conflict-affected states like Congo, Afghanistan, Colombia and Burma. This proposal, which was delayed, is now due out on March 6...Global Witness is urging the Commission to pass legislation, similar to that already adopted in the US, which would give European consumers much more certainty that the products they were buying were conflict-free. We think they should make it compulsory for any company first placing any natural resources - or products containing them – on the EU market to check down their supply chain and ensure that they were not indirectly fuelling conflict...Anything less than mandatory due diligence will mean they fall short.