Orgalime statement on the proposed EU conflict minerals scheme

Published: 5 November 2014

Policies & Issues:

The European Commission published its proposal on creating a responsible trading strategy for minerals from conflict zones in March 2014. The proposal comprises a draft regulation on setting up a supply chain due diligence system for the importers of the covered raw materials as well as communication that lays down a number of accompanying measures. 

Orgalime welcomes the comprehensive approach taken by the Commission, which recognises that dealing with conflict minerals in the supply chain is a complex task that needs to be addressed from different angles. It is essential that the EU initiative is part of a comprehensive framework integrated with foreign policy action that includes activities in the conflict regions themselves. In this regard, we believe the EU proposal should be more precise in spelling out tangible activities for conflict resolution. Emphasis should be put on promoting good governance and enhancing security in the conflict-affected and crisis regions. 

To have a substantial effect on the global level, it is essential that the EU reaches out to other governments. The issue of conflict minerals is a global problem that requires active involvement along the entire supply chain and beyond the EU and the US. It is therefore highly important that discussions continue and actions are decided in international fora like the UN and the OECD. Orgalime welcomes the Commission’s approach in the draft Regulation on setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence based on the self-certification of responsible importers of the covered raw materials. This systemic approach based on the OECD Due Diligence Guidelines is preferable over a product-based approach, as incurred by the US legislation on conflict minerals (Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act).  [more in download]