Only one in three companies in the EU carefully reviews its global supply chains for human rights and environmental impacts. This was the result of a study on regulatory options for due diligence in the supply chains, which the European Commission presented in February. "Voluntary commitments by companies have not become the norm, now we are working towards mandatory due diligence standards," said Social Commissioner Schmit. No sooner said than done.
Yesterday the EU Parliament took an important step towards a European supply chain law: Almost 73 percent of the MPs voted for an own-initiative report calling on the EU Commission to create clear rules and laws so that corporations can be held accountable if they violate human rights and environmental protection - from production to sale.
Stefan Grasgruber-Kerl, expert on fair supply chains at Südwind: "Today's decision can be an urgently needed milestone against the exploitation of people and nature by global corporations - provided the EU does not give in to the attempts to soften up already indicated by corporate lobbies. Because a pure paper tiger does not help against exploitation and the destruction of nature. Rather, what is needed is a supply chain law that also shows its teeth. "
Petition: sign now
Together with a broad civil society alliance organized by Network Social Responsibility, has the south wind Petition "Human rights need laws!" started. This advocates a legally binding supply chain law in Austria, the support of a legally binding EU law on corporate responsibility and the commitment at the United Nations level for the binding UN agreement on business and human rights.
Opposing voices from ÖVP
And Veronika Bohrn Mena, spokeswoman for Citizens' initiative for a supply chain law: “We are very pleased that the Austrian MEPs have voted across parliamentary groups for a supply chain law. But it is an indictment for the delegation of the People's Party that they do not speak out against child labor and modern slavery here. It is all the more important that the Austrian federal government makes it clear that it is unconditionally committed to human rights and environmental standards, even if it somewhat limits the profit of multinational corporations. "
Of the 19 Austrian MEPs, only the six ÖVP MPs Bernhuber, Mandl, Sagartz, Schmiedtbauer, Thaler and Winzig did not agree, while Othmar Karas supported the vote of the other MPs.
The EU Commission has announced that it will probably present a draft in June of that year, and European regulation can then be in place in 2022 at the earliest.
Photo / Video: shutterstock.