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15 Nov 2023

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

EU: Ahead of trilogue negotiations, the International Federation for Human Rights publishes four new briefs with recommendations for trilogue negotiations of the EU Due Diligence Directive

"FIDH publishes recommendations for trilogue negotiations of the EU Due Diligence Directive"

As negotiations of a final text of the European Union (UE) Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive are progressing, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) publishes four new briefs with recommendations for EU institutions to ensure that the legislation better protects human rights and the environment from corporate harms.

15 November 2023. On 23 February 2022, the European Commission published its proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). The CSDDD aims to establish a corporate duty to respect human rights and the environment by requiring certain companies to identify and address harms arising from their operations and those of their subsidiaries across their value chain.

The Council of the European Union published its General Approach on 1 December 2022, while the European Parliament adopted its own position on 1 June 2023. Both depart in some key respects from the Commission’s proposal, with the Parliament providing the most comprehensive approach. The three institutions began “trilogue” negotiations in June 2023 with the goal to reach an agreement on the final text by the end of this year.

In this context, FIDH is publishing four concise notes analysing contentious elements within the Directive and providing recommendations for the trilogue to fill the remaining gaps so that the text can effectively contribute to protecting human rights and the environment.

FIDH and its member organisations have previously denounced the ineffectiveness of voluntary measures and underlined the need for EU legislation to regulate businesses. European policy-makers must ensure that the Directive does not become a mere box-ticking exercise in due diligence which would miss its objective to protect people and the planet.

FIDH recommends that EU institutions:

  • Explicitly recognise that all companies -regardless of their size or sector- should respect human rights and the environment, even if their obligations may vary according to the directive; this shall also include financial institutions as their activities may cause or contribute to harms;
  • Adopt an extended and non-exhaustive list of international conventions and instruments to ensure adverse impacts are effectively identified against all recognised human and environmental rights;
  • Require that due diligence obligations cover the entire value chain, not only the upstream part;
  • Require companies to conduct heightened due diligence when operating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas, as per the Parliament’s proposal;
  • Require meaningful engagement by companies with a broad range of stakeholders in a continuous, transparent and informed manner, in line with the Parliament’s position;
  • Ensure effective enforcement and liability mechanisms, following the Parliament’s position. The Directive should facilitate access to complaint, monitoring and remedial mechanisms for stakeholders, including human rights and environmental defenders. It should also address the obstacles commonly faced by these stakeholders when seeking remedies and protect them from retaliation.

Read the new briefs: