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9 Jun 2021

Amnesty International, Anti-Slavery International, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, ClientEarth, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) & 15 others

Over 20 NGOs call on EU Commission to not further delay proposals addressing environmental & human rights impacts of European businesses

"Commission delays proposals on deforestation and sustainable corporate governance", 9 June 2021

In recent weeks, it has been reported that the Commission will delay the adoption of the two legislative proposals – first until late July due to issues raised by the Regulatory Scrutiny Board, now until after the summer recess. This was confirmed by the indicative College of Commissioners’ agenda for 8 June – 28 July 2021, as neither proposal is listed for discussion.

It has also been reported in the media that the sustainable corporate governance file will now be co-led by Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton.

There has been no official statement from the Commission on either initiative to explain these delays or the change in direction on the sustainable corporate governance initiative.

These initiatives are essential to ensure respect for human rights, promote sustainable development, and protect the environment – founding values of the European Union. They are also crucial to the EU’s efforts to address the global climate and biodiversity crises, and for protecting rights holders and communities around the world from the environmental and social impacts of EU business activities, supply chains, finance and consumption.

The European Parliament has sent a clear political signal to the Commission to develop ambitious and timely proposals on these initiatives. It adopted two landmark resolutions that formally request the Commission to propose strong legislation to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation, and on corporate due diligence and corporate accountability.

The Council has also requested that the Commission expeditiously produce a proposal for demand-side regulatory measures to reduce the EU consumption footprint on land and encourage the consumption of products from deforestation-free supply chains, and to table a proposal for an EU legal framework on sustainable corporate governance...

We urge European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders, and Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton to ensure ambitious and timely action on these important initiatives.

Part of the following timelines

EU adopts anti-deforestation law; CSOs welcome text but criticise weak protections for Indigenous Peoples & narrow coverage of ecosystems

Towards an EU mandatory due diligence & corporate accountability law