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Report

Sustainable corporate governance initiative: Summary report – public consultation

The purpose of the open public consultation was to gather stakeholder input with regard to the initiative on sustainable corporate governance, and to ensure that all relevant stakeholders were given the opportunity to share their views...

In total, 473.461 public responses were obtained during the consultation period. In addition, currently 149 position papers were received outside of the EU Survey. This number was driven to a large extent by campaigns (online consultation tools) carried out by a number of NGOs (e.g. Anti-slavery International, Avaaz, Clean Clothes Campaign, 3 Global Witness, etc.), using pre-filled questionnaires...

On the question of need for companies and their directors to take account of stakeholder interests in corporate decisions, the majority of respondents expressing an opinion (763 respondents, 89,2%) agreed on the need for such a holistic approach (597 respondents, 78.2%)...

As regards the need for developing an EU legal framework for due diligence, an overwhelming majority of overall respondents answering expressed support for action (660 respondents, 81.8%), while only a small number (118 respondents, 14.6%) considered the existing voluntary frameworks to be sufficient or is of the opinion that no action is necessary (29 respondents, 3.6%). NGOs supported the need for action with 95.9% (185 respondents), companies with 68.4% (121 respondents) and business associations with 59.6 % (93 respondents)...

When asked about the content of possible corporate due diligence duty, a staggering number of respondents, who revealed a preference for an option, preferred a horizontal approach over a sector specific or thematic approach (636 respondents, 92,4%). The most preferred option of overall respondents answering was the most ambitious option...

The replies to the public consultation will help the European Commission to assess the costs and benefits of an EU initiative. This assessment will be done in the form of an Impact Assessment analysis, which will examine in particular the economic, environmental and social impacts of the initiative.

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