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ONLINE EVENT: The European Regulation on Responsible Mineral Sourcing: what are the lessons learned so far?

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From 21 to 28 September 2021, the European Network for Central Africa (EurAc), Germanwatch, IPIS, Justice & Paix, the MADINI project, Ecumenical Network for Central Africa (ÖNZ) will host an online conference bringing together local and European civil society representatives, European Union (EU)’s officials and companies. This event will provide recommendations to EU decision-makers with regards to the implementation of the EU Regulation on Conflict Minerals Sourcing, its accompanying measures as well as related EU Regulations currently being drafted and discussed.

Context

The 1st of January 2021 marked the entry into force of the European Regulation on Responsible Sourcing of tin, tungsten tantalum and gold (3TG) from conflict-affected and high-risk areas. The Regulation aims to ensure that European companies carry out due diligence checks on their suppliers up-to the middle of the supply chains, so as to minimise and manage the risks of human rights abuse and to break the link between the exploitation of mineral resources and violent conflicts.

The Regulation was coupled with the disbursement of € 20 million worth of “accompanying measures” by the European Commission. These measures aim to assist producing countries, local communities and the most vulnerable actors to engage with systems of accountability throughout the production chain. The measures include initiatives targeting local dynamics of illegal exploitation, the formalisation of small-scale and artisanal miners to improve the position of women in mining and to support civil society organisations (CSOs) in their effort to monitor supply chains and to voice grievances from their respective countries.

The Regulation represents an important first step in ensuring transparent mineral production chains that curb human rights abuse. However, a question remains: what is its real impact in producing countries, particularly with regards to benefits for local communities and small-scale, artisanal mining operators?

Local and European CSOs have already voiced a number of concerns regarding the Regulation. To name a few: its limited scope (addressing supply chains up to refiners and smelters and excluding manufactured products); the cost of traceability and certification mechanisms that are often borne by upstream actors; the lack of environmental standards; the risk that on-paper due diligence reports might provide an opportunity for companies to white-wash their practices on the ground; the import thresholds that may exclude the riskiest imports.

The workshop and conference are being organised with a view on the 2021 evaluation of the accompanying measures, on the 2023 review of the Regulation, as well as on upcoming legislations such as a horizontal due diligence legislation (Sustainable Corporate Governance Initiative) and the Batteries Regulation that includes due diligence requirements for specific minerals.

Programme & registration

The four-day programme consists of 3 workshops for a selected audience (21-23/09) and one pubic event open to all (28/09). Registration is required for all days. You can find out more details and the registration links below:

DAY 1 (21/09/2021) CSO WORKSHOP “Implementation of the 3TG Regulation and preparation of its 2023 review”.
Open for CSO only. Registration link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUofuuqqjoqHNFXb2UB0jsmyDIhcYv2Dtnh

DAY 2 (22/09/2021) CSO WORKSHOPEnvironmental issue – Focus on the study”
Open for CSO only. Registration link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcvdOCvqTsqE9JEHH_vBAcLPD5CbN9s1eK-

DAY 3 (23/09/2021) CSO + PRIVATE SECTOR WORKSHOP “Consultation session”
Open for CSO & private sector only. Registration link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZItd-mrqDgrG9M9HDR6YPl6W_1jD78UyYQf

PUBLIC CONFERENCE (28/09/2021) “Civil society perspectives from the DR Congo and Colombia”
Open to all. Registration link: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_oz7k-XndQqCaAv0q0ndv8A

Full event programmes

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