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14 Dez 2023

European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ)

CSDDD political deal: A pivotal step but a missed opportunity to embrace transformative change

The European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) welcomes the final political agreement on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), though key opportunities have been missed. It is an important milestone in setting requirements and expectations for corporations to respect Human Rights and the environment; however, the current political deal is not enough to end corporate impunity...

Under the legislation, large and high-risk multinational corporations will have to address risks to people, communities, and the environment linked to their operations and business relationships. Moreover, victims will be able to hold companies liable before EU courts if they are harmed through the companies’ operations...

ECCJ welcomes today’s deal on including much-needed access to justice measures for victims of corporate abuse, and particularly allowing increased access to evidence and reasonable time limits to file claims.

Yet, EU capitals and industry lobbies’ efforts to water down the law have resulted in a lost opportunity to embrace transformative change in the way transnational corporations operate. Financial services were disconcertingly exempted from carrying out due diligence on their clients. Climate obligations remain insufficient and have worryingly been excluded from the scope of civil liability, although companies, including some financial actors, will be required to adopt and put in place climate transition plans under the legislation...

[T]he final text that will compose the CSDDD remains pending. Technical meetings are needed to refine the political deal after last night’s trilogue and ensure there are no loopholes. Following this, the Council, under the upcoming Belgian presidency, and subsequently the European Parliament will vote to approve the final text, paving the way for the directive’s implementation at the national level. ECCJ expects that the final text should be voted on around March 2024.

The final next step is that companies, including the finance sector, can be held accountable for their contributions to ending climate change...