FT: EU’s efforts to cut red tape held up by anti-graft rules for mining companies

The Financial Times reports efforts by Europe to cut the bureaucracy, reporting requirements and regulatory burden on the continent's industry are running into trouble over provisions concerning natural resources companies.

At the moment the draft legislation, which also contains widely supported provisions that make quarterly reporting voluntary and cuts the paperwork for smaller firms, requires mining companies to disclose on a project-by-project basis what they pay local officials in foreign countries.

The strict disclosure rule is enthusiastically backed by MEPs and anti-corruption activists. But EU ambassadors agreed on an alternative that would only require natural resource groups to publish what they pay central and local government, without breaking down the numbers by projects.

Supporters of project-by-project reporting on the legal affairs committee last week blocked talks beginning with EU member states – a move that could delay a deal by months. Both parliament and the EU member states must agree on a text for it to become law.

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