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15 Mar 2024

European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ)

ECCJ reaction: CSDDD endorsement brings us 0.05% closer to corporate justice

Today’s decision by EU capitals to endorse the Belgian Presidency’s political deal on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) is a significant step forward in the protection of human rights and the environment from corporate harm. This political endorsement is a landmark decision in favour of regulating businesses to respect the planet and the rights of those impacted by business operations – including women, workers and indigenous communities, and to provide access to justice for victims.

Whilst today’s endorsement by the EU Council is an important step in formally adopting the directive, last-minute changes due to political manoeuvres by several Member States and business lobbies have further watered down a political agreement that had already not fully met international standards and expectations. Disappointingly, the CSDDD will now only apply to roughly 0.05% of EU companies and business activities that typically bear risks for the environment and human rights...

After last week’s deadlock among EU capitals, the Belgian Presidency finally succeeded in brokering a compromise among Member States resulting in the political endorsement of the CSDDD. This came with huge and damaging cuts to – what was meant to be the political deal agreed with the parliament last December. The text agreed today by the Council still needs approval from the European Parliament.

Takeaways and key observations from a watered-down version of EU negotiators’ deal...