RTL Today – Luxembourg: More transparency demanded on the due diligence directive
Luxembourg has so far not said much about the European directive on the duty of care in relation to human rights and the sustainability of companies, according to the “Initiative for a duty of vigilance Luxembourg”.
A European law on supply chain due diligence is currently under discussion. It should ensure that companies are held accountable for environmental damage and human rights abuses that have occurred during production.
However, several governments felt disturbed by the details of the directive proposed by the Commission, and changed the text of the law. From now on, each Member State should be free to decide whether the financial sector should also be covered by law.
These are decisions that also have an impact on our country. The “Initiative for a Duty of Vigilance Luxembourg” wants more commitment and transparency from the Luxembourg government.
Overall, there would still be many open questions about Luxembourg’s position on the supply chain law directive. Jean-Louis Zeien, coordinator of the Initiative:
“When it comes to how we deal with climate change, how to deal with environmental damage from economic activities or when it comes to defining which sectors are at risk. These are just a few examples of questions that remain open. And if you say that Luxembourg is a member of the Human Rights Council, transparency is also part of it. In this sense, we do not require anything else.”
However, we know that Luxembourg decided in the Council of Ministers for investment funds not to be covered by the law. According to the Initiative, this would not be acceptable, as the financial sector is considered a risky sector:
“The financial sector is not only considered a risk sector in our national action plan for human rights in business, but it is also considered a risk sector by the OECD. From there , it must make its contribution when it comes to respect for human rights, so that no economic activity can be financed, where human rights are not respected, where the environment is destroyed, where global warming continues.”
In addition, the Initiative is disturbed by the fact that the directive only applies to large companies with 500 or more employees – which Luxembourg also reportedly supported. She would keep the threshold lowered to 250 employees.
As the negotiations on the directive will drag on, the Initiative still calls for a national law to be drawn up now, as is already the case in Germany, for example.