The 2017 EU Conflict Minerals Regulation: A Promising European Rite to Remove the Natural Resource Curse?

  • Karsten NowrotEmail author
Part of the Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Rights book series (CHREN, volume 3)


Following more than 5 years of intensive and quite controversial debates, the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation was finally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in spring 2017 and entered into force in June 2017. Against this background, the contribution intends to take a closer look at this recent and rather ambitious regulatory regime in the field of good raw materials governance aimed at promoting responsible business in the context of so-called “conflict minerals”. Subjects to be addressed in this connection include the EU primary law background of this regulation, its legislative history, the regulatory structure of this steering instrument as well as the particular role played by the principle of transparency in this context. The analysis first and foremost attempts to illustrate that the regulatory features of the 2017 EU Conflict Minerals Regulation distinguish themselves by transcending the distinction between traditional law enforcement mechanisms and law-realisation approaches by combining “command and control” elements in the form of legally binding supply chain due diligence obligations with more indirect steering tools aimed at improving transparency; a path so far less taken in the realm of international and domestic normative regimes aimed at promoting the observance of human rights in the extractive industries, but definitely worth exploring. EU Regulation 2017/821 is to be regarded as a promising—and thus laudable—regulatory approach to adequately address, and hopefully to constructively contribute to overcome and remove, one of the worst manifestations of the natural resource curse.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HamburgHamburgGermany

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