ETI and BHRC share concerns of the wider industry with recent reports suggesting apprehension in the German government on voting in favour of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) on 9 February.

ETI believes that while Germany has already demonstrated leadership through the adoption of a national Due Diligence law in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs), it is now putting the wider effort of the EU at risk by abstaining at this late stage adding it is “very serious and difficult to understand”.

Peter McAllister, executive director of ETI, added: “So much has been achieved through the negotiations to date and many companies have already changed their approach in anticipation of the CSDDD becoming a reality. This will be a real set-back for responsible business and for those who deserve better protection in global supply chains, if the vote is undermined at this late stage.”

Approximately 300 organisations wrote to the administration with BHRC emphasising that the directive is a “much needed and powerful tool” to harmonise the current fragmented practices and “level the playing field” for respecting human rights and the environment.

The letter reads: “This upcoming vote on the CSDDD is more than a legislative formality – it is a defining moment for our shared future. The CSDDD represents an unprecedented opportunity to shape a sustainable future for all. It will provide the legal certainty that the companies are calling for and that is needed to identify, assess, prevent, mitigate, and remedy adverse human rights and environmental harms.

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“The legislator has gone to great lengths to ensure that the directive is both ambitious and achievable. Through rules on prioritisation and a special treatment of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the legislation constructively addresses the specificities and legitimate expectations of SMEs and makes a stepwise transformation possible.”

BHRC pointed out that this concern extends nation borders, urging the EU governments to understand the significance and act collectively to secure CSDDD in the vote on 9 February.

Recently, international organisation Human Rights Watch criticised Germany’s Free Democratic Party (FDP)’s refusal to support the new Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD).