BRUSSELS (Dec. 23, 2011)—The International Natural Rubber Group has won support from the European Union, via a crucial vote by members of the European Parliament.
The favorable vote clears the way for the EU to ratify the new constitution of the IRSG, and continue its membership in the group. Previously, only sovereign nations were permitted to be full members of the organization.
The decision follows the withdrawal from the IRSG by the U.S. and Thailand, and Malaysia and Indonesia's declarations they, too, will leave the organization during 2012.
Vital Moreira, a member of the parliament and chairman of its International Trade Committee, said the final ratification should be known by March 2012, and parliament is unlikely to vote against the motion.
“It is my view that the IRSG is the appropriate body for discussions between rubber producing and consuming countries,” Moreira said. “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.”