EU countries agree on supply chain law

The planned EU supply chain law has overcome a crucial hurdle - despite resistance in the German federal government: a sufficient majority of EU states support the law to protect human rights.

The majority of EU states have voted for a common European supply chain law. This was announced by the Belgian Council Presidency. Germany abstained. An abstention in the committee acts as a no vote.

The law is intended to ensure that European companies ensure compliance with human rights and environmental standards in their supply chains.

Law weakened

The adopted draft law provides for less strict rules than the original draft. First of all, the EU supply chain law should apply to companies with 500 or more employees and a global turnover of more than 150 million euros per year.

The new draft now applies to companies with 1,000 or more employees. The annual sales threshold is 450 million euros. The possibility of civil liability has also been weakened. EU member states, the EU Parliament and the Commission had already agreed on the law in December.

FDP did not want to support the law

The final vote in the Council and Parliament is actually just a formality. Because the FDP announced at the beginning of February that it did not want to support the supply chain law, the federal government announced that it would abstain from the vote in the Council.

Since then, it has remained unclear whether a majority could be achieved for the directive despite Germany’s abstention. For adoption, a majority of at least 15 member states with an EU population of at least 65 percent was required.


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