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'A New Chapter for Corporate Accountability’ — European Union Approves New Reporting Rules

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The European Parliament approved the final Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive on April 24, which was renegotiated earlier this year.                                                                                                          

For the first time, there will be a law that empowers communities anywhere in the world to sue big companies responsible for human rights abuses and associated environmental harms in European Union courts.

The final deal, however, includes major concessions, meaning many big companies will face no repercussions for abusing human rights or damaging the environment.

Beate Beller, corporate accountability campaigner at Global Witness, said, “It was only a few weeks [prior] that EU Member States nearly killed this law off completely, so [the] vote to pass the final law is something to celebrate.

While national governments such as Germany, France, and Italy weakened it at the last minute, a new chapter is about to begin for corporate accountability.

The biggest companies operating in the EU will be obliged to respect human rights and the environment, and the law gives people who are at risk from dangerous business practices a chance to fight back.”

The law is now subject to final approval by Member States, after which it will be transposed into national law.

After this, the biggest EU companies — with over 5,000 employees and €1.5 billion in turnover — will need to be compliant by 2027, followed by companies with more than 3,000 employees and €900 in turnover in 2028, and companies with at least 1,000 employees and €450 million in turnover in 2029.

This press release was produced by Global Witness.

For more information on the European Parliament’s Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, visit its webpage here.

Learn more about the European Commission’s corporate sustainability reporting, including the EU’s rules, at its webpage here. As stated in its timeline, the interoperability of European and global sustainability reporting standards was published May 2, and the commission welcomed the guidance on it. The guidance provides support to companies that want to comply with both standards, with a particular focus on climate reporting.



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