European Commission

Broader engagement with the governance issues in natural resources:

The European Commission and EU Member States have supported a number of initiatives to promote transparency and accountability in the area of natural resources and in the extractive industry with a view to ensuring that countries obtain a fair deal from the exploitation of their natural resources and increase the volume of domestic resources needed to reach development goals

Besides the strong political and financial support to the EITI, the EU has adopted a mandatory disclosure requirement that requires listed and large unlisted industries active in the extractive (oil, gas and mining) and logging of primary forest sectors to disclose their payments to governments on a country and project basis (Country-by-Country Reporting). The Accounting and Transparency Directives were adopted on June 2013 with the objective of enhancing transparency by providing relevant information to civil societies and Parliaments in order for them to hold governments to account on receipts from multinationals for exploiting natural resources.

The EU is also closely cooperating with the G8 in order to promote global standards at the international level. Four Member States announced  in 2013 their commitment to implement the EITI and a fifth one is working on a pilot project to test the Standard domestically.

Another area in which the EU is investing time and resources is Transfer Pricing. The reinforcement of capacities in this area will contribute, inter alia, to reducing tax avoidance and evasion, to improving business certainty and the investment climate, as well as to reducing the chances for corruption and other malpractices. To this effect, the European Commission supported the UN in the development of a Manual on Transfer Pricing for Developing Countries, which was launched in May 2013. The EC has also entered into a Tripartite Initiative with the World Bank and the OECD in order to strengthen and coordinate international cooperation on Transfer Pricing efforts, particularly in the Extractive sector, in a number of pilot countries.

Furthermore, the EU supported the African Tax Administration Forum and in particular its working group on Transfer Pricing, and financed the working group meeting as well as a technical conference for all ATAF member states to engage with international technical experts in the field of transfer pricing in 2013.

Support to EITI implementing countries

EU-Colombia Fast-Track Partnership

One concrete example of EC support to G8 efforts is its recent adherence to the G8 “Fast-Track Partnership” initiative (FTP) with countries interested in working on specific actions to increase the transparency in the extractives sector. The EC has welcomed Colombia’s announcement to become an EITI candidate country and is working with the Colombian Ministry of Mining and other donors to prepare Colombia’s request so it can be submitted during the first semester of 2014.

There are a number of aspects in the EU-Colombia on-going cooperation that reflect the joint commitment of the parties towards transparency:

Two projects financed by the EU in Colombia are directly linked to transparency and anticorruption efforts. The first of these projects, "Towards co-responsibility between non-state actors and local authorities: The role of transparency, accountability and citizenship control in establishing development policies in three departments in Colombia," started in February 2012. It aims to promote the drafting, monitoring and adjustment among Non-State Actors and Local Authorities to foster transparency and integrity of the local public policies in three departments of Colombia. A second project “Institutional strengthening of the Colombian capacity for increasing integrity and transparency” will reinforce with 8.2 mn Euro the capacity of the Colombian government to increase integrity and transparency within the administration, therefore contributing to help Colombia to honour its international commitments, including submitting the EITI candidacy in time.

Financial contribution to the international EITI

The EC has not made any direct financial contribution to the EITI Secretariat. But it has contributed with 1.06 mn euro to the EITI-MDTF. Two installments (530,000 euro each) were disbursed in 2013

Contact:

Inmaculada Montero Luque: maria-inmaculada.montero-luque@ec.europa.eu