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2 Dec 2020

Council of the European Union

EU Council of member states approves conclusions calling for EU mandatory due diligence rules for the first time

Photo: GoodLifeStudio, Getty Images via Canva

"Human rights and decent work in global supply chains: the Council approves conclusions", 1 Dec 2020

The Council approved conclusions calling on member states and the Commission to promote human rights in global supply chains and decent work worldwide.

For the first time, the Council asks the Commission to launch an EU Action Plan that is focusing on shaping global supply chains sustainably, promoting human rights, social and environmental due diligence standards and transparency by 2021. This includes a call for a proposal from the Commission for an EU legal framework on sustainable corporate governance, including cross-sector corporate due diligence obligations along global supply chains.

Furthermore the Council calls on the Commission to update its 2006 Communication on ‘Promoting decent work for all – the EU contribution to the implementation of the decent work agenda in the world’.

The Council also calls on the member states, in accordance with their competences and national circumstances, to step up their efforts to effectively implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, including through new or updated National Action Plans containing a mix of voluntary and mandatory measures.

The Council conclusions recall that the current crisis has worsened the situation of parts of the workforce in the global supply chains and has led to a sharp decline in working hours and substantial losses in labour income globally.

The conclusions were approved by written procedure.

Full text of conclusions