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EU supply chain law weakened

1,489 German companies are affected. The CDU/CSU delegation fears indirect effects on smaller companies. The plans could cause companies to withdraw completely from developing countries.

As Euronews reports, the EU Supply Chain Directive (CSDDD) is on its way to coming into force. The EU member states voted in favour of the new law on 15 March 2024, after it was recently defeated by Germany and Italy in particular. Germany's abstention was due to the FDP's fear that the CSDDD would lead to the self-strangulation of our business location. The CDU/CSU parliamentary group even called for the EU Supply Chain Directive to be stopped altogether.

It is now likely that the measures will come into force after Italy agreed to a slimmed-down version of the directive at a regular diplomatic meeting in Brussels. The European Commission has emphasised that this is to prevent companies in the EU's single market from being confronted with multiple, potentially incompatible national regulations.

Belgium, which currently holds the Presidency of the EU Council, has made efforts in recent weeks to allay member states' concerns about excessive bureaucracy. This was done by tripling the threshold so that the rules would only apply to companies with a global turnover of over 450 million euros.

The latest draft has removed the provisions on civil liability, which would have allowed trade unions to sue non-compliant companies. This was a controversial measure that was opposed by countries such as Finland. MEPs still have to vote on the rules and April will be the last opportunity before the June elections.

As Euractiv reports, the new plans will reduce the number of European companies affected by the EU supply chain law by almost 70 per cent compared to the original number agreed by EU co-legislators in December. 5,421 companies (0.05 per cent of the total) fall within the scope of the current draft. This is 67 per cent fewer than the 16,389 companies provisionally agreed by the European Parliament and the Council in December. This would reduce the number of German companies affected to 1,489.

Angelika Niebler (EPP, Germany) from the CDU/CSU delegation argued that the watered-down plans would still have an indirect impact on smaller companies and could lead some to withdraw from developing countries altogether.

No time to follow further developments in the EU Supply Chain Directive in detail? trade-e-bility keeps you up to date with its Legal Monitoring Service.

Is your company affected by the CSDDD? Take timely precautions now: The trade-e-bility management consultancy will work with the responsible employees in your company to set up a sustainability management system in small steps that will equip you for the introduction of the new requirements. Christopher Blauth and Jens Haasler will be happy to answer your questions. You can request a non-binding orientation meeting at

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