In Brussels, the European Economic Community's Commissioner for Development, Monsieur Claude Cheysson accused the nine EEC member government (Belgium, Denmark, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Britain) of avoiding formulating a Community policy on the sensitive question of minerals exploration and development.
GV EEC building in Brussels
CU Commissioner for Development at the European Economic Community, Claude Cheysson speaking in French at news conference
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Background: In Brussels, the European Economic Community's Commissioner for Development, Monsieur Claude Cheysson accused the nine EEC member government (Belgium, Denmark, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Britain) of avoiding formulating a Community policy on the sensitive question of minerals exploration and development. Speaking on Thursday (15 March), he said the "Nine" had formed a "coalition of silence " on the issue.
SYNOPSIS: Monsieur Cheysson called a news conference at the EEC headquarters in Brussels to give the Development Commissions' position before the final stage of Lome - Two negotiations which will take place in the Bahamas later in the month.
The first Lome Agreement was signed in 1976, and under it's terms 3,400 million U.S. dollars worth of aid was due to go to 55 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP countries) by the end of 1979. But it has become clear that the actual amount of aid is falling far short of the promised figure. Lome - Two will take place in Freeport, from the 22nd to the 24th of March.
Monsieur Cheysson said the EEC had pushed countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific to industrialise, and then because of the current world crisis, hasn't used the goods they produced at the promised rate. And he called the Community's refusal to reverse the rapid decline in mining investment in the third world "catastrophic". Especially, he said, when the Community is 75 percent dependent on imports of industrial raw materials.
Monsieur Cheysson suggested the European Investment Bank could play an active role in financing a Community minerals programme. He said public and private investment by the "Nine" in ACP countries' mining projects should increase to one billion dollars a year in the future. In 1977 the investment in mining projects was only 120 million dollars in the developing countries. Monsieur Cheysson said he backs French President Giscard d'Estaing's proposal of an Afro-Euro-Arab conference to discuss the situation. Before then he'll be dealing with the issue of mineral investment at the Lome - Two convention in Freeport next week (March 22-24).