Transparency summit in the run-up to German EITI candidacy

In November 2014, a transparency summit on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Germany (D-EITI) was held in Berlin.

Stefan Mair, Member of the Executive Board of the BDI, said: “German industry will play a constructive role in the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Germany (D-EITI).”

The transparency summit represented the official launch event of the preparation of Germany’s EITI candidacy application, with over 100 representatives from politics, industry and civil society attending. One of the aims of Germany’s EITI candidacy is to become a role model for the international transparency agenda and to motivate other developing and newly industrialised countries to signal their own commitment to the joint effort to combat corruption in commodities transactions by joining the initiative. This cause is expressly supported by German industry.

In addition to Uwe Beckmeyer, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and Special Representative for EITI of the German government, and Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, international guests such as Clare Short, Chair of the EITI Board and former UK Secretary of State for International Development, highlighted in their speeches the importance of the German candidacy for the international EITI process.  

The implementation of the EITI in Germany entails the disclosure of payments and possibly further information in relation to raw materials projects, on the part of both the companies and governments involved. In a panel discussion at the summit, industry and civil society representatives shared their views on the initiative and on the opportunities and challenges involved. Mair pointed out that the approval processes in German mining projects are already very transparent; yet he hopes that German accession will strengthen the international EITI process and thus contribute to establishing a global standard. Mair also sees the D-EITI multi-stakeholder group, which comprises an equal number of high-ranking representatives from government, industry and civil society, as an important platform for objective dialogue regarding issues surrounding domestic raw materials extraction.

The event also featured a public discussion by the D-EITI multi-stakeholder group, in which the BDI, alongside four other representatives, will represent industry in the future. The body’s main task is to determine by consensus the scope of application of EITI for Germany in the coming months.