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27 Feb 2024

Businesses make urgent call for support for EU due diligence law ahead of Council vote

Photo: bbtomas, Getty Images via Canva

In light of a possible German abstention in the EU Council vote on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), 26 companies and networks, including ALDI SÜD, Bayer, Primark, Mars, Tchibo, KiK, Ritter Sport, VAUDE, FRoSTA, and the Global Network Initiative jointly urge the German Chancellor to secure the compromise reached in December 2023. The statement was first published on 6 February; additional signatories joined since then. A German version is available here.

The statement says:

EU due diligence law: Undermining the compromise creates legal uncertainty

As large, medium-sized and small companies and their networks, we are very concerned that German support for the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) could still be withdrawn in the final approval process.

The political compromise on the CSDDD from December last year is based on the UN and OECD standards and thus builds on guidelines that responsible companies have been using as a reference for years. In our view, the requirements of the CSDDD are appropriate and feasible.

The CSDDD offers a historic and, at present, the only chance for an EU-wide level playing field. Especially for German companies who comply with the German Supply Chain Act, a Europe-wide regulation means that competitive advantages at the expense of people and the environment will finally be prevented. We are therefore deeply concerned that a German abstention is currently being considered.

We are at the end of a four-year long democratic legislative process, over the course of which the perspectives of a wide range of stakeholders were included and compromises were reached. We expect Chancellor Olaf Scholz to secure this democratically achieved compromise and thereby provide companies with legal certainty and fair competitive conditions

Full statement & signatories (PDF)

Read the joint call "EU due diligence law: Undermining the compromise creates legal uncertainty" and full list of signatories incl. ALDI SÜD, Bayer and Ritter Sport.