The time when companies could make a profit out of the exploitation of the environment and their suppliers and workers’ fundamental rights across the world is over! With the EU Due Diligence Directive, running a business responsibly is no longer an option, it’s an obligation.

Large European companies and large companies operating in Europe will be compelled to identify, prevent, and remedy potential adverse impacts of their and their business partners’ operations on people and the planet all along their chain of activities, including outside the EU.

For years, millions of people have raised their voices to say ‘enough is enough!’, from industrial workers in the Global South to broad coalitions of businesses and NGOs in Europe. “Enough” of the decades of soft law regulation through codes of conduct, charters, or “comply or explain” mechanisms which have failed to anchor socially responsible management in companies’ DNA. These millions of voices have finally been heard today!

By advocating for responsible business practices, Member States have sent a strong signal to millions of workers and citizens whose vote, in a couple of weeks’ time, will determine the future of Europe.

Now that EU Member States and the European Parliament have endorsed the Directive, the next step is its publication in the EU Official Journal, expected in the coming weeks. Member States will then have two years to transpose it into their national legislation.

IndustriAll Europe celebrates this historical achievement. IndustriAll Europe General Secretary Judith Kirton-Darling says:

“IndustriAll Europe welcomes the new EU Directive on Due Diligence. We want this Directive to deliver concrete changes for workers and trade unions across the globe. We will therefore be watching very closely how it will be transposed in the Member States and call for going beyond the bare minimum.

“The guidelines and resources for capacity building that the European Commission is tasked with developing will be of crucial importance. We will pay an equally close look at how companies will implement due diligence policies.

“We insist on trade union representatives being fully involved at all stages to ensure that companies do not stop at a mere box-ticking exercise. We are only at the beginning of a process in which trade unions active in multinational companies will play their full role”.