By David Shaw, ERJ staff
Brussels -- Following a crucial committee meeting of members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on 20 December, Parliament is almost certain to support the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG). The move by Parliament supports the advice of the European Commission and clears the way for the EU to ratify the new constitution of the IRSG, and continue its membership of the group. Previously, only sovereign nations were permitted to be full members of the group.
The IRSG has suffered some severe blows in the last year as the US and Thailand withdrew membership and Malaysia and indonesia announced their intention to withdraw during 2012.
In a written statement, Professor Vital Moreira, MEP and Chairman of the International Trade Committee, told ERJ, "I am recommending that Parliament approves the amended Constitution and Rules of Procedure of the International Rubber Study Group. My recommendation will be put to a vote first in the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament at the end of February 2012." He said the final decision will only be known in March 2012. However, ERJ understands that with support from Prof Moreira's committee and the EU Commission, Parliament is unlikely to vote against the motion.
Prof Moreira commented, "The IRSG should deliver on its main mission, i.e. to contribute to the transparency and predictability of the international rubber market."
He added, "it is my view that the IRSG is the appropriate body for discussions between rubber producing and consuming countries. Nevertheless, I note that some of the largest producers and consumers of rubber worldwide are not members of the IRSG. Naturally this reduces the group's capacity and authority. I wish therefore that all possible efforts are made to increase the representativeness and effectiveness of this body.
Prof Moreira concluded, "It is my view that the EU should work hard on increasing transparency and certainty on the demand and the supply of rubber worldwide. Continued support of the IRSG is one way of doing so.
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Statement from Prof. Moreira