Human rights: EU states pass supply chain law | STERN.de

Human rights: EU states pass supply chain law | STERN.de

The EU supply chain law is coming, that much is now certain – even if it is less far-reaching than originally planned. To whom the rules for the protection of human rights apply.

The EU states have finally adopted the European supply chain law. On Friday in Brussels they approved the plans to strengthen human rights worldwide, according to information from the Belgian EU Council Presidency.

One of the aims is that large companies can be held accountable in European courts in the future if they benefit from human rights violations in their supply chains, such as child or forced labour. The European Parliament had already cleared the way for the plan a month ago.

Companies must also draw up climate plans to ensure that their business model is compatible with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial times.

Who is affected by the rules

The new EU rules were watered down during the negotiation process, meaning that fewer companies are affected than originally planned. Instead of applying to companies with more than 500 employees and at least 150 million euros in sales, they will apply to companies with 1,000 employees and 450 million euros in sales, after a transition period of five years.

After three years, the requirements will initially apply to companies with more than 5,000 employees and more than 1.5 billion euros in sales worldwide; after four years, these limits will then be reduced to 4,000 employees and 900 million euros in sales.

What the German government thinks about this

There was also open controversy in the federal government about the plan, with FDP representatives in particular saying it goes too far. They fear bureaucracy and legal risks for companies. Politicians from the SPD and the Greens, on the other hand, are in favor of the regulation. Germany already has a supply chain law, and the EU regulation goes beyond it in certain aspects – for example with regard to the liability of companies.

The text of the law now only needs to be published in the Official Journal of the EU. After that, the EU states have a good two years to implement the new rules into national law.

Source: Stern

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