This week the United States passed historic rules that will help millions of people lift themselves out of extreme poverty. Europe is also preparing such laws, but these are hanging in the balance ahead of a crucial vote. The new laws would make European oil, gas and mining companies publish what they pay to African governments, but these very same companies have been lobbying to weaken the laws since they were first proposed.
As ONE members in Europe we have the power to ensure that Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) vote in favour of the strongest laws possible. Transparency is the best vaccine against corruption, and it is only by tackling corruption that we can ensure the proceeds from the sale of natural resources can improve the lives of millions of people by going towards schools, roads and hospitals, instead of being intercepted by corrupt officials.
You are on the brink of voting on historic legislation which will help citizens in Africa fight corruption. I will be joining thousands of people across Europe to see how you vote. Please do the right thing to ensure citizens of the developing world benefit from the sale of their natural resources.
I want to know that you will vote on behalf of European citizens such as myself, in support some of the world’s poorest people, and not corporations.
I’ve taken this action because I want the MEPs’ votes to reflect European citizens and not to be decided by the oil, gas and mining companies. If weaker laws are passed we are missing a monumental opportunity to make the extractive industry fairer to the citizens of developing countries, as transparency is one of the most effective ways to promote development, public spending and good governance.
The International ONE Blog is a daily log of the anti-poverty movement. The site is operated by ONE staff, with guest contributions from ONE volunteers, members and allies.
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