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Swiss parliamentary process on mandatory human rights due diligence proposal approaches final stage

"STAGES OF THE RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS INITIATIVE IN PARLIAMENT", May 2020

1) 10 October 2016 – Submission of the Responsible Business Initiative with 120’000 valid signatures. [...]

4) 23/2, 20/4, 4/5/2018 – The National Council’s Legal Affairs Committee prepares an indirect counter-proposal to the Responsible Business Initiative... The authors of the initiative are prepared to compromise and, despite numerous trade-offs, give their assurance that they will withdraw.

5) 14 June 2018 – The National Council approves the counter-proposal by 121:73:2 votes. [...]

7) 12 March 2019 – The Council of States decides by 22:20 non-approval of introduction of the counter-proposal. [...]

10) Summer 2019 – Federal Councillor Keller-Sutter launches her own fig-leaf-like counter-proposal... [...]

12) 21 November 2019 – The Council of States’ Legal Affairs Committee maintains the original concept of the counter-proposal. However, a strong minority accepts the Federal Councillor’s fig-leaf-like proposal and attempts to sell a mere “reporting obligation” as a counter-proposal.

13) 18 December 2019 – The Council of States joins the minority and votes for the fig-leaf-like proposal. [...]

16) 11 March 2020 – For the fourth time, the National Council votes in favour of its counter-proposal.

17) 15 March 2020 – Due to the Corona crisis the parliament aborts its session.

Pending [2.-19. June]:

- Third and final resolution of differences in the Council of States.

- Possible meeting of a conciliation committee.

- Agreement on a counter-proposal or complete abandonment.

- Final votes on counter-proposal and initiative.

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