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March 15, 2015

Two Of Three European Parliament Committees Weigh In On Conflict Minerals Regime

The European Parliament continues its deliberations on whether to implement a voluntary or mandatory conflict minerals regime and, last week, two of the three committees that will make recommendations to the full parliament cast their votes. Last Monday the European Parliament’s Development Committee voted to endorse a mandatory certification regime for conflict minerals while the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee stalemated. (The European Commission prefers a voluntary system.) 

A third committee, the Committee on International Trade, will continue its deliberations this week and will vote on the matter in mid-April. According to The National Law Review, in an International Trade Committee meeting late last month a representative from the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group strongly opposed a voluntary regime, arguing that it would provide “no incentives” for companies to change their procedures and that a mandatory regime would extend throughout the supply chain to “ensure compliance of companies and assure consumers in the EU that their products are responsibly resourced.” 

According to the law firm Squire Patton Boggs, the full parliament is expected to then vote in late May.