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20 Jul 2015

Council of the European Union

EU action plan on human rights & democracy, including business & human rights (2015-2019)

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Delegations will find attached the Council conclusions on the Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2015-2019 as adopted by the Council on 20 July 2015...[Sections related to business & human rights include:]

18. Advancing on Business and Human Rights

  • Develop capacity and knowledge on the implementation of Business and Human Rights guidelines, in particular as regards the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and other tools/initiatives that contribute to the implementation of the UNGPs; strengthen the role and expertise of EU Delegations and Member State embassies in this context; raise awareness on the UNGPs and corporate social responsibility in external action and policy dialogue with partner governments and regional organisations; promote the adoption of National Action Plans (NAPs) by partner countries; proactively engage with business, civil society, National Human Rights Institutions, on issues related to business and human rights.
  • Ensure a strong focus on business and human rights in the overall EU strategy on Corporate Social Responsibility including priorities for the effective implementation of the UN Guiding Principles.
  • Develop and implement  National Action Plans (NAPs) on the implementation ofthe UN Guiding principles or integrate the UN Guiding Principles in national CSR Strategies; share experience and best practices in the development of NAPs.

...25. Trade/investment policy

  • Continue to develop a robust and methodologically sound approach to the analysis of human rights impacts of trade and investment agreements, in ex-ante impact assessments, sustainability impact assessments and ex-post evaluations; explore ways to extend the existing quantitative analysis in assessing the impact of trade and investment initiatives on human rights.
  • Aim at systematically including in EU trade and investment agreements the respect of internationally recognised principles and guidelines on Corporate Social Responsibility, such as those contained in the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the UN Global Compact, the UN Guiding principles on business and human rights (UNGPs), the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, and ISO 26000.