BRUSSELS, April 10 (UPI) -- A European decision on the extractive industries will bring a "new era of transparency" to an industry that often escapes scrutiny, an EU commissioner said.
The European Parliament passed new regulations on disclosure requirements for the extractive and forestry industries.
European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Michel Barnier said the measure will give local communities that are rich in resources like oil and natural gas a better idea of how their governments work with multinational companies.
"The agreement will bring in a new era of transparency to an industry which is far too often shrouded in secrecy and help fight tax evasion and corruption as well as create the framework so both companies and governments can be held to account on the use of revenues from natural resources," he said in a statement.
The EU government in 2011 adopted a proposal that would require the full disclosure of payments made by multinational companies to governments hosting reserves like oil, natural gas, minerals and forestry products.
Barnier said the new legislation put the EU on the same page as the United States.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last year ruled that oil and natural gas companies must disclose payments made to foreign governments. The SEC said it was adopting the rules through the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform act.