Thoughts on MEP Paul Rubig’s interview

Written by Catalin Hosu

Paul Rübig MEP was recently interviewed by my Brussels-based colleague Sean O’Sullivan.

Here is my response to that interview – there were some important points raised:

1.         The world is changing, we live in challenging economic times, and there is a responsibility to help support prosperity, jobs and welfare. Europe imports about 60% of its raw materials from outside.  This does not need to be the case if we have a strong well-supported raw materials sector.

2.         Raw materials (such as gold) are important to Europe’s future – making Europe competitive, and providing jobs.  New raw material projects will generate direct employment, will support the wider economy through indirect economic impact, and will lead to further business opportunities.

3.         There is no trade off between extractive industries and environmental protection.  European environmental standards are the toughest anywhere in the world.  It is possible to create jobs and generate economic growth as well as apply the very highest environmental standards.

4.         Investment in infrastructure that supports and sustains raw material extraction is vital.  We need the roads, transport, ports, communications, and supply chains that can sustain a world-class raw materials sector, fighting with stiff competition around the globe.

5.         The EU is working hard to drive this forward.  There is a lot of discussion, formal and informal, underway in Brussels – between MEPs, committees, NGOs, academics, industry and other sectors.  The focus needs to remain to ensure Europe has the laws and political will in place to make our extractive industry world class.

It is heartening that Mr Rübig refers explicitly to Rosia Montana as an example of where a positive impact is possible economically as well as on the environment.