The EP have voted to enforce stricter controls on European natural resource extractors.
A European Parliament Committee has voted to increase oversight on EU companies who are in the business of extracting natural resources, such as oil, gas mining and timber, overseas. The lack of transparency in the sector is often cited as a reason for a perceived ‘resource curse’ whereby developing countries fail to utilise their endowment of natural resources to lift themselves out of poverty and the issues therein include large multinational companies avoiding tax and corrupt government officials channeling the revenue to the benefit of an elite minority rather than for any wider development objectives. Numerous developing countries possess large quantities of natural resources, indeed, according to Global Witness, the value of natural resources exported from Africa dwarfs the amount it receives in international aid; $246 billion compared to $49 billion respectively. This vote comes out hot on the heels of a decision taken by the US Securities and Exchange Commission who adopted similar rules in August.