In an open letter addressed to the EU president, the EU presidency and the European commission, 50 MEPs from 4 different political parties (S&D, Greens, Gue/Nordic Left and ALDE) call for “a moratorium on EU public financing for mining projects until adequate standards and regulations are in place.”
“The added value of mining projects for development is highly debatable” says Thijs Berman (S&D) who presented the letter in the European Parliament today. “Due to favourable tax regimes, low labour standards and a significant environmental impact, it is rarely the hosting country or its population benefiting from these mining projects. It is rather the international mining companies that make the profit and I don’t see why they would need public financial support for that. At least not until standards and regulations are in place that can guarantee a positive outcome for those who need it: poor countries and their population.”
The letter refers to previous successful processes in other sectors such as the World Commission on Dams or the World Bank’s Extractive Industries Review as worth following.
It singles out Glencore’s operations in Zambia for particular critcism.