1 March 2022: The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Directive on corporate sustainability due diligence (22 February 2022). Directives are legal acts which require states to domesticate them into national laws.
The Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence: “Voluntary action does not appear to have resulted in large scale improvement across sectors …
“Union legislation on corporate due diligence would advance respect for human rights and environmental protection, create a level playing field for companies within the Union and avoid fragmentation resulting from Member States acting on their own. It would also include third-country companies operating in the Union market, based on a similar turnover criterion.
“Against this background, this Directive will set out a horizontal framework to foster the contribution of businesses operating in the single market to the respect of the human rights and environment in their own operations and through their value chains, by identifying, preventing, mitigating and accounting for their adverse human rights, and environmental impacts, and having adequate governance, management systems and measures in place to this end.”
The proposal has come under criticism for falling “far short of what is needed to protect human rights and the environment“.