Last 19 March, the European Parliament responsible business working group launched a Shadow EU Action Plan on Business and Human Rights at a public event in Brussels. ECCJ participated in a panel which discussed the opportunities for the next Commission to bring about the needed transformation into a sustainable and responsible economy in Europe.

The working group has published the video of the event. Speakers generally agreed on the need for EU horizontal mandatory human rights due diligence legislation, which also ensures effective access to justice for victims of corporate human rights abuses.

Heidi Hautala, Vice-President of the European Parliament, said that “The groundwork that has been laid during the end of this Commission, by this European Parliament, civil society and responsible progressive companies, will lead to the adoption of an EU wide law on corporate accountability, which we would also say would be human rights due diligence law”.

The working Shadow Action Plan outlines the necessary steps to ensuring a globally responsible and accountable European business sector. ECCJ and other civil society organisations welcomed the MEPs’ initiative to react to EU inertia in progressing the agenda on responsible business conduct and sustainable global supply chains.

Filip Gregor, Chair of the ECCJ, highlighted other key elements of the Shadow EU Action Plan, namely the call for collective redress for all victims of corporate abuse, and the reform of investors and directors’ duties to integrate the protection of human rights and the environment.

The working group has also published a pledge whereby candidates commit to taking leadership around the implementation of the UNGPs by the EU and Member States. Commitments include, among others, advancing corporate liability and human rights due diligence legislation, tackling obstacles to access remedy, or compelling the EU to engage in the process for a UN Binding Treaty.

Watch the full video here.