< All the resources

Improving transparency in the European Union’s oil, gas and mining sectors

In 2013, the European Union (EU) passed new transparency legislation requiring large oil, gas, mining and logging companies listed and registered in the EU to disclose their revenue payments to governments around the world. The EU Accounting Directive requires reporting of EU-registered companies’ payments to governments on a country-by-country and a project-by-project basis (for each country a company operates in and for each project to which payments have been attributed) as does a similar provision in the EU Transparency Directive for publicly listed companies. This includes disclosure of taxes paid, production entitlements, royalties, bonuses and other payments of EUR 100,000 and over. Thanks to this legislation, similar laws have been adopted in non-EU countries,
including Norway and Canada, while similar draft legislation is currently being considered in Switzerland and Ukraine and has been pledged by Australia’s major opposition party, and a mandatory reporting law in the United States awaits the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s implementing rule.

The EU Accounting Directive has now been transposed into national law by all EU Member States. Early adoption by France and the UK means that global companies such as Shell and Total published their first reports in 2016, while the majority of European companies began reporting in 2017.

In 2018, the European Commission (EC) will review Chapter 10 of the Accounting Directive – the section setting out the requirements for “payments to governments” reporting by extractive companies.

This briefing paper has been prepared by members and civil society allies of the Publish What You Pay coalition in order to strengthen EU policy on promoting transparency and accountability in the extractives sector through the review of Chapter 10 of the Accounting Directive and Article 6 of the Transparency Directive. It outlines the main achievements of the existing transparency legislation for the extractives sector as well as its loopholes, and sets out recommendations for the EC’s review.

Share this content:

Related Resources

RESOURCE |

Draft EITI constituency guidelines for civil society

The members of the EITI Association (Article 7.2) are organised in three constituencies (Article 5.2): governments, companies and civil society. Constituencies decide on their rules governing appointment of Members (Article 5.3) and nominate Board members and their alternates for the Members’ Meeting to elect (Article 8.1(ii)). The EITI Board agreed on the guidance and principles…

Read Download
RESOURCE |

Towards Transparency

‘Towards Transparency’ looks at what the industry and geographical scope of the ALP policy the impacts the introduction of this legislation would have for transparency and accountability in Australia and globally. The report finds that of the 802 companies listed on the ASX who are involved in commercial production in the mining, oil, and gas…

Read Download
RESOURCE |

Exploring the effectiveness of EU law concerning payments to governments reports

The EU’s requirements for country-by-country reporting of payments to governments by oil, gas and mining (extractive) and forestry companies consist of the Accounting Directive’s Chapter 10 provisions and the equivalent provisions of the Transparency Directive (collectively ‘the Directives’). The provisions require in-scope companies in the extractive and forestry sectors to publicly report details of payments…

Read Download