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30 Apr 2020

EU Parliament’s Responsible Business Conduct Working Group

European Commission promises mandatory due diligence legislation in 2021

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Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders announced yesterday that the Commission will introduce a legislative initiative next year on mandatory due diligence for companies. 

Commission is currently preparing a public consultation on sustainable corporate governance and due diligence, which will inform the Commission’s legislative proposal...

The Commissioner’s announcement was welcomed by MEPs and other stakeholders, who presented a united front in the webinar in their call for EU-level horizontal and mandatory legislation on due diligence, with effective access to remedy for victims and affected communities and liability for harms caused by businesses. 

Heidi Hautala (Greens/EFA) reflected in the webinar the long standing call by the European Parliament for such a legislation. Lara Wolters (S&D) described how in addition to climate crisis, the Covid-19 has now brought about health, economic and social crises that have reinforced the need to build more resilient and sustainable supply chains...

Commission’s initiative also received encouragement from Germany, which is due to hold the Presidency of the EU Council from the beginning of July. Carsten Stender of the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs said that “you have our support”.

Commissioner Reynders’ message to the companies was that acting sustainably and responsibly pays off... He also said that the forthcoming legislation would be part of the EU’s Covid-19 recovery package...

You can watch the webinar here.