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11 Мар 2021

European Parliament adopts key report with recommendations to EU Commission on mandatory due diligence & corporate accountability

In response to EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders' announcement that the Commission will introduce rules for mandatory corporate environmental and human rights due diligence, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) started working on developing a European Parliament (EP) position on the shape such a law could take. On 27 January 2021, the EP Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI), as the Committee responsible, adopted (21 votes in favour, 1 against and 1 abstention) a report including recommendations to the Commission on mandatory corporate due diligence and accountability. It then proceeded to plenary vote on 9 (amendments) and 10 (final report) March. A video of opening statements to the plenary debate on 8 March is available here.

The EP's (Sub)Committees on Human Rights, Development, and International Trade had previously provided input in the form of opinions addressed to the JURI Committee. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), a consultative EU body composed of social partners, had produced an exploratory opinion upon request of the EP (see below). All (draft) reports, opinions and tabled amendments are available under legislative initiative procedure 2020/2129(INL), and some of them below, including the final JURI report. The work of the JURI committee has been led by MEP Lara Wolters (Rapporteur).

Update: The final report was adopted on 10th March with 504 votes in favour, 79 against and 112 abstentions. CSOs welcomed it as a strong signal from the European Parliament but said the Commission will have to go further in its upcoming legislative proposal.

See here for our coverage of the EP's own-initiative procedure 2020/2137(INI) on sustainable corporate governance, which focused on non-financial reporting and directors' duties.