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Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello lauds agreement on EU transparency legislation

Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello T.D., today warmly welcomed the agreement brokered by the Irish Presidency on the EU Accounting Directive which will pave the way for legislation to improve transparency among EU multinational companies involved in extractive and logging industries in developing countries.

Speaking in the aftermath of the agreement, Minister Costello said:

“This is a defining moment in ensuring that we have better transparency and accountability in how multinational companies are operating in developing countries.”

The proposed changes to the Accounting Directive will require EU based companies involved in the extractive and forestry sectors in developing countries to fully disclose any payments made by them, in the form of taxes, royalties or other bonuses.

As a result, Parliaments, local communities and civil society organisations will have a better insight into what governments are being paid by EU multinationals for working in local oil and gas fields, mineral deposits and forests, leading to increased transparency and accountability.

Minister Costello added:

“I have seen first-hand in my recent visits to Tanzania and Mozambique the great potential that exists in the extractive sectors in Africa and the growing opportunities for developing countries to use their own revenues to reduce poverty.

Next week, over 300 leaders, experts and grass-roots participants will gather in Dublin for an Irish EU Presidency Conference to discuss Hunger, Nutrition and Climate Justice. We know that the transparency and accountability that we have promoted through this legislation will enable developing countries to more adequately adapt to the many impacts of climate change and to invest in securing food and nutrition security for all their citizens.”