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29 Mai 2020

European Parliament Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) Working Group

European Parliament RBC Working Group letter to EU Justice Commissioner on shape of possible future due diligence legislation

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"EU is well placed to show leadership with its future due diligence legislation", 27 May 2020

The RBC Working Group has now followed up the Commissioner’s commitment with a detailed letter on how such future EU company law should be shaped...

In its letter, the Working Group reminds that the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the precarious nature of global value chains...

To this end, the Working Group reiterates its support for the Commission to start shaping EU-level mandatory legislation which should be horizontal covering all sectors, and it should have effective enforcement measures and access to remedy for victims and affected communities through liability for harms caused or contributed to by businesses. 

The MEPs outline in their statement key principles to the forthcoming legislation:

  • Applies to all business undertaking of all size across the EU;
  • Includes the obligation to respect human rights and the environment in their own domestic and international activities, and to ensure such respect throughout their global value chains, products, services and business relationships; 
  • Ensures that business enterprises have an obligation to identify, prevent, mitigate, monitor and account for potential and actual human rights abuses and environmental harm​ ​in their entire global value chains;
  • Is supplemented by more specific standards and guidance that provide clarity and certainty to business and stakeholders about the processes and topics expected to be covered.
  • Establishes civil liability for human rights abuses and environmental harm and provide access to remedy for victims;
  • Provides authorities with effective instruments to monitor compliance and ensure enforcement, including through penalties and sanctions.