Word-leading binding rules take shape
Corporate Sustainability and Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD)
Today, the European Parliament adopted its report on the Corporate Sustainability and Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). The Council reached a political agreement in December 2022 and the negotiations between Parliament, Council and Commission on the final content of the directive can now start.
The Greens/EFA group have long advocated for mandatory rules requiring companies to identify and remedy risks to human rights, health and the environment arising from the activities throughout their value chain. We welcome this new step forward in the process of adopting world-leading binding rules.
Heidi HAUTALA, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Shadow rapporteur in the Legal Affairs committee:
“The Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive is the cornerstone in a historic transformation that will redefine the responsibilities and obligations of businesses to respect human rights and the environment. The compromise adopted by the Parliament today provides for a forward-looking and consistent legislation, based on widely accepted international standards, that is in the interest of all companies committed to responsible business. It will effectively level the playing field by preventing competitive advantage from irresponsible business activity.
Today’s victory is all the more striking given that the EPP group attempted to derail the compromise in the plenary. It is unfortunate that the EPP has proven itself an increasingly unreliable partner and has been forging closer ties with far-right parties through a widespread ideological campaign against the green deal.
The due diligence legislation is about promoting the core values of our union and responding effectively to global environmental and human rights challenges. We must seize this opportunity to leverage the power of business to strengthen the respect for human rights and to fight environmental destruction throughout the world. Yet another ‘Brussels Moment’ could be at hand.”
Since the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights over ten years ago, many businesses have worked hard to ensure that their activities are not linked to human rights violations or environmental destruction.
In March 2021, the European Parliament adopted a legislative-initiative resolution calling on the Commission to propose a mandatory due diligence legislation that was published on 23 February 2022.
The proposal came with a Commission Communication on Decent Work in the World.
The legislation should cover companies with at least 250 employees and an annual turnover of more than €40 million, a significant extension of the Commission's proposal, which is limited to large companies.