This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

MEP: happy with deal on 'conflict minerals'

Member of the European Parliament, Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66) is happy that the European Parliament and the Member States have, after months of negotiations, reached a deal to combat the trade in minerals that are used to finance conflicts. Schaake: "We need to make sure that European businesses do not contribute to conflicts in places where minerals like gold or tin are mined, such as in Congo. At the same time it is crucial to make sure that rules are realistic and can actually succeed. The agreement that has now been reached a big step in the right direction". Big importers of the products gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten will have to check whether their products are conflict free. That means that the rest of the supply chain will also be covered, because smaller companies get their products from the bigger ones. Liberal proposal The political deal reached between Parliament, Council and Commission goes in the same direction as what the liberal group in Parliament had proposed in the first instance. Last year, this was blocked at the last minute by the groups on the left, who managed to get a very tight majority for a much stricter, but unworkable, system. Schaake: "I am happy that there is now a realistic and effective proposal on the table. We cannot force every dentist in Europe to do independent research into where the gold for fillings comes from. Small companies do not have the time, expertise or money to do that. But we can and do need to make sure that the bigger players take their responsibility". Human rights Schaake also works on strengthening human rights through trade and trade agreements more broadly. Schaake: "As the European Union, we need to use our economic weight to create change in other places in the world. We need to review export control legislation, to make sure that our products are not used for human rights violations and trade agreements must contain strong clauses to make sure they are dependent on respect for human rights." Before negotiations started, Schaake wrote a blog on the liberal standpoint on conflict minerals: /2015/04/curbing-the-trade-in-conflict-minerals-requires-a-realistic-approach/