Our key takeaway: Last week, Lara Wolters, the Rapporteur on the EU Parliament’s Committee of Legal Affairs, released proposed amendments to the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive. We noted that the UNGPs look good on the legal page! This week, the European Council have published its negotiation position on the same. While it is considerably further from fully reflecting the UNGPs than Lara Wolter’s proposition, it does include steps towards the UNGPs compared to the proposal by the EU Commission. Perhaps most importantly, the EU Council proposes moving away from the concept of “established business relationships” to define the scope of due diligence. Instead, the EU Council introduces a form of half-value chain concept, which mainly is directed to companies’ supply chains and a risk-based approach to prioritisation of action, reflecting the severity concept in the UNGPs. Leaving out other business relations, however, means that, among other things, potential harm to people and the environment from using companies’ products and services, would generally fall outside of companies’ due diligence obligations. We also anticipate many companies will find it helpful that the Council proposes that companies will be able to perform substantial due diligence activities at group level. All eyes are now ready for the EU Parliament’s position and the upcoming Parliament-Council negotiations:
On 30 November, The Council of the European Union adopted its negotiating position to the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive. It provides the Council presidency with a mandate to start negotiations with the European Parliament about a final legislation.