Europe falls a bit short on transparency

June 13, 2013 at 7:10 AM

BRUSSELS, June 13 (UPI) -- Members of the European Union can do more to ensure transparency in the extractive industries, the European commissioner for internal market and services said.

The European Commission said it enacted new disclosure rules for the extractive industry and loggers, requiring companies to report all payments to governments on a country-by-country and project-by-project basis.

"Such disclosure will provide civil society in resource-rich countries with the information needed to hold governments to account for any income made through the exploitation of natural resources, and also to promote the adoption of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in these same countries," the EC said.

Advocates of transparency initiatives said the measures work to combat the so-called resource curse, in which developing countries may use natural resources to prop up corrupt regimes.

European Commissioner for Internal Markets and Services Michel Barnier said Wednesday the directive was a step in the right direction in the fight against corruption.

"But we must go further now and take measures on more transparency on tax for all large companies and groups -- the taxes they pay, how much and to whom," he said in a statement.

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