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14 Jul 2023

The Danish Institute for Human Rights

State of play on the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive: five key takeaways

The analysis focuses on the three proposals for a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDD Directive) adopted by the European Commission (February 2022), the Council of the European Union (December 2022) and the European Parliament (June 2023), respectively. Since June 2023, these legislative institutions conduct trilogue negotiations with the aim of reaching a political agreement on the final Directive by the end of 2023.

While the three proposals all draw on key international frameworks, including the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on Responsible Business Conduct (OECD Guidelines), they still differ in many respects. Our analysis highlights five key issues that are particularly significant for the trilogue negotiations, including:

  • Substantive due diligence
  • Extent of the due diligence obligation
  • Financial institutions
  • Administrative supervision and enforcement, liability and remedy
  • Stakeholder engagement

For each of these topics, we emphasise the differences between the legislative proposals and give recommendations to ensure that the final CSDD Directive aligns with international frameworks, addresses adverse impacts on human rights effectively, and provides the legal certainty it sets out to create.

The publication aims both to inform public debate and to facilitate the regulatory developments at the EU level. It is of relevance to policy makers, as well as civil society in the EU and beyond.