Led by the S&Ds, the EU is a step closer to eliminating conflict minerals from its market

Led by the S&Ds, the EU is a step closer to eliminating conflict minerals from its market

The Socialists and Democrats waged a strong campaign to exclude conflict minerals from the European market and – after a long and difficult political battle – a regulation will be soon adopted by the EU.

Today the all-party trade committee in the European Parliament will back an agreement reached between the Parliament and the Council to adopt a new law. It will introduce a legal system to ensure the traceability of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold, in order to make sure that products containing these minerals (smartphones, laptops, etc) that are sold in the EU do not fuel armed militias or foster human rights violations in conflict areas.
 
The S&D Group led a long campaign for a mandatory system, facing strong opposition from member states and conservative groups in the European Parliament. Tomorrow the first step towards a values-driven trade in minerals will be accomplished, but the Socialists and Democrats will continue to work in order to achieve a fairer system through the future reviews built into the regulation.

S&D spokesperson on conflict minerals, Marie Arena MEP, said:

"Since the start of the legislative process, we have fought for a binding regulation which applies to companies that are both upstream and downstream in the supply chain.

"In the face of conservative opposition, it has not been easy, but we have taken an essential step in the right direction today.  However there is still much to do, especially regarding provisions to help small companies comply with the regulation but also measures to help the countries of origin ensure traceability, which involves supporting local independent miners and improving their working conditions.  This is why I will advocate for the Parliament to send a strong political message on this to the Commission."