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Press Release

15 Mar 2024

BHRRC response to EU Council vote on CSDDD

Todays’ endorsement by the EU Council of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) today is a major step forward for the region – and globally – to strengthen corporate accountability and the protection of human rights and the environment. 

Phil Bloomer, Executive Director, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, said: Today’s backing of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive by the EU Council is landmark progress for workers’ and communities’ rights in Europe and worldwide, and the protection of responsible business against abusive competitors. The Directive will use the power of the EU’s rich markets to enhance action against egregious exploitation of workers, pollution, and insist on climate action by companies globally who operate or trade in Europe. Company leaders around the world are already anticipating these new standards and changing business models as regulation drives board attention to respect human rights. When endorsed by the European Parliament, this progress will accelerate. That a qualified majority was reached despite Germany’s disappointing abstention, shows there is widespread recognition of the Directive’s historic potential for human rights in business.” 

Johannes Blankenbach, Senior EU/Western Europe Researcher & Representative at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, said: “European institutions and states now need to restore trust in established procedures, following last minute blocks and drastic and painful concessions regarding an already agreed, democratic compromise. The CSDDD, which still needs approval from EU Parliament, is one of the most important regulatory innovations for the protection of human rights and the environment in business – especially for vulnerable workers and communities. Not because it revolutionises existing international business standards, but because it insists existing standards are legally implemented across an EU-wide level playing field. This is why the Directive has gained such widespread support from companies and investors across Europe and beyond, large and small.” 

Keep track of updates and civil society and other reactions in our ongoing CSDDD Story.

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Notes to editors:

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is an international NGO that tracks the human rights impacts of companies across the globe.