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Historic deal on responsible business conduct reached today - S&Ds delivered!


15 Mar 2024



After more than one month of blocking, member states finally supported new binding rules on making sure businesses behave responsibly.

This ground-breaking achievement is a major victory for the Socialists and Democrats, who initiated this fight four years ago and led the negotiations on behalf of the European Parliament, and a result of the efforts by the Belgian and the Spanish governments who led the negotiations on behalf of EU member states.

The Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive will be the first legislation in the world to oblige companies, both inside and outside the EU, to take responsibility for the impact of their activities on human rights and the environment in their subsidiaries and value chains: child labour, labour exploitation, pollution and biodiversity loss, among others.

Lara Wolters, S&D member and European Parliament rapporteur for due diligence, said:

“Today, we welcome the news that member states finally unblocked ground-breaking legislation to hold business to account forharm done to people and the planet. Companies will have to take action to stop harm to workers, communities and the environment – or face sanctions.

“We, the Socialists and Democrats, are proud to have instigated and delivered this important piece of legislation, together with NGOs, civil society, citizens and responsible companies, who have relentlessly pushed their national governments to support a law that protects the dignity of the most vulnerable and ensures the protection of our environment. 

“Despite member states playing political games ahead of the European elections, we never gave up. This project was simplytoo important to let go of, it was too big to fail. This law will have major implications around the world to stop businesses looking away from very real human misery and destruction. This is about more than business combat; this is about values, about leadership and perhaps most of all, about humanity.

“We regret that during the negotiation process, member states persistently delayed the adoption of the agreement, after negotiations they were involved in(opens in a new tab) and during which every single word was subjected to scrutiny. However, we welcome the Belgian presidency’s efforts to find common ground for everyone.

“People and planet must go before profit.”


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