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Aligning Internal and External Policies on Business and Human Rights – Why the EU Should Engage Seriously with the Development of the Legally Binding Instrument

"BHR Symposium: Aligning Internal and External Policies on Business and Human Rights – Why the EU Should Engage Seriously with the Development of the Legally Binding Instrument", 11 September 2020.

This contribution argues that the EU should be ready: There are sound policy and legal reasons why the EU needs to engage seriously with the LBI...

[A ] number of events and developments within the EU in the first half of 2020 suggest that it is high time for the EU to abandon its current inactivity and become involved in the process of the LBI...

The Commissioner announced that the EU Commission will propose mandatory due diligence legislation in 2021. It is expected that the Commission will open a public consultation to inform its proposal in the coming weeks...

The European Parliament also became active and commissioned a study on Human Rights Due Diligence Legislation – Options for the EU...

It is often argued that such mandatory human rights due diligence legislation at the national level may place an unfair burden on domestic companies...The adoption of an international treaty mandating such legislation from the state parties could therefore contribute to a level playing field among the parties of such a treaty...

There are not only sound policy reasons for the EU to engage more actively in the process leading towards a Legally Binding Instrument. The EU would also implement its constitutional framework on foreign affairs...

One of the fundamental questions of EU external relations law concerns the scope and the nature of the EU’s competence...It is therefore important to assess if and how far the EU would be competent to engage in negotiations in a legally binding instrument...

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