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EU moves to adopt natural resource disclosure rules

A European Parliamentary committee approved proposed legislation this week that would require European extractive companies to publish payments they make to governments.

The legislation is similar to a law that took effect in the United States in August. The Securities and Exchange Commission in August adopted a rule that requires reporting companies (issuers) in the extractive industries to disclose all payments they make to foreign governments of $100,000 or more.

The U.S. rule implementing Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act covers all public mining and oil and gas companies.

Brendan O’Donnell of Global Witness said: “Extractive companies would have to report what they pay on an annual basis in their stock exchange listings and in their annual reports exactly what they’ve been paying to governments for natural resources like oil, gas and minerals on a project-by-project basis.”

O’Donnell said it’s difficult to put an exact figure on the financial rewards of the extraction industry, but he describes them as huge.

Global witness estimates that since Nigeria’s oil boom began in the 1960s, the country has lost about $400 billion to corruption.

The European legislation on extraction industries will be discussed and debated by country ministers. There could be revisions and amendments before a final vote by the European Parliament is taken by the end of the year.

With reporting from VOA News.

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