This week ONE and our friends at Cordaid handed in the Trillion Dollar Scandal petition to the Dutch parliament. Over 89,000 European ONE members signed the petition, asking European leaders to pass strong laws on transparency for oil, mining and logging companies.
Last October, the EU proposed legislation to oblige European extractive companies to publish the payments they make to governments where they operate. The Dutch government has stated its support for transparency measures, but it has not specified how strong these measures should be. However, the devil is in the detail of this kind of legislation, and there is huge pressure from the oil and mining industry to weaken the proposed law.
ONE and Cordaid handed the petition over during an official Dutch Parliament session, asking them to ensure the government supports strong measures when the Council of the EU, bringing together the 27 EU Member States, decides on this matter.
We met MPs from all the major political parties in the Netherlands including Mariko Peters (Green Party), Ewout Irrgang (Socialist Party), Jeroen de Lange (PvdA), Nebahat Albayrak (PvdA and chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee), Henk Jan Ormel (CDA), Kathleen Ferrier (CDA) and Ingrid De Caluwe (VVD).
The Netherlands is critical to ensuring European transparency legislation helps people hold their Governments to account. During our meeting with Dutch MPs we asked them to ensure that their Government stop the trillion dollar scandal allowing corrupt practices to be brushed under the carpet.
Presenting the petition in the Netherlands followed similar deliveries earlier this month in the UK, France and Denmark.
For the EU law to be adopted, the European Council has to decide together with the European Parliament and just today, in Brussels, the European Parliament discussed its draft position on the transparency measures. The MEPs are key to ensuring the legislation isn’t watered down, and they, too, need to hear from European citizens that fighting corruption in Africa is an issue we care about.