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Raw Materials: a blessing or a curse?


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Topic: Raw Materials

Policy recommendations

  • The European Union should allow ACP countries to maintain their sovereignty and policy space in relation to the appropriate use of their own natural resources. They should be able to use investment regulations, tariff barriers and export restrictions to promote equitable, local and sustainable economic development.
  • The European Commission through its development policy should stimulate resource-rich developing countries to implement their own industrial policies, to protect their infant industries by using legitimate barriers to trade, and by introducing environmental measures. This should allow resource-rich developing countries to move up the value chain, so that the added value to (semi) processed products will remain in the country of origin and would thus stimulate economic development.
  • Within its development budget the EU should allocate sufficient resources to the building of energy and environmental infrastructure to enable developing countries to stimulate economic development.
  • The EU should use its political and economic power to set clear rules in relation to the extraction of raw materials. Like suggested in the February 2011 RMI update an EU code of conduct for EU companies operating in third countries should be developed and measures should be taken to enforce such a code of conduct.
  • In order to provide for more transparency in the supply chain and to minimize the role of European companies in fuelling conflicts over resources, the EU should implement Country by Country reporting, following the US example of the Dodd Frank Act.
  • Within the EPA negotiations the EU should be more flexible as suggested in the RMI update and make sure developing countries can demonstrate the use of export taxes as a policy tool and therefore keep using them.
  • In all policy initiatives and actions elaborated on the basis of the strategy laid down in the Raw Materials Initiative that affect developing countries, DG Development should be closely involved, and ACP partner countries and civil society organisations should be consulted.



Background Info

See Ramdoo (2011), Shopping for raw Materials (ECDPM)
In this paper is about the EU Raw Materials Initiative of 2008 with a special focus on the implications this has for Africa.

ECCJ position on Non Financial reporting
In this position paper the ECCJ poses policy recommendations to improve the European Commissions proposal on Non-Financial Reporting. This proposal requires large companies to report on their social, environmental and human rights policies. The goal is to improve transparency of supply chains of large companies.

Civil society position paper on conflict minerals (2013) Breaking the links between
natural resources and conflict: The case for EU regulation

In this position paper a group of 58 European and global non-governmental organisations calls on the European Commission to adopt legislation requiring European business entities to conduct supply chain due diligence in order to ensure that they do not contribute to conflict financing or human rights abuses in the production and trade in natural resources.

'Combating the resource curse in Zambia: The Role of the EU', Prague Global Policy Institute - Glopolis (2012)
The paper investigates the possible causes of the resource curse in Zambia and assesses the effectiveness of EU development policies that aim at mitigating the negative impact of the mining sector on the rest of the economy.