Supply Chains Act in Europe

Compromise in the Supply Chains Act better than nothing: After months of debate, a compromise has now been achieved on the Supply Chains Act. KOLPING INTERNATIONAL appreciates that the draft bill will force German companies to fulfill due diligence obligations in their entire supply chain in the future.

Germany is thus gradually moving away from the principle of voluntary corporate responsibility in the protection of human rights. From now on, an authority will monitor compliance with the obligations. This authority can impose fines and exclude companies from public procurement in the event of violations. Another positive aspect is that it will be easier for NGOs and trade unions to bring claims on behalf of persons affected.

“In the parliamentary procedure we are still hoping for urgent improvements,” says Dr Markus Demele, General Secretary of KOLPING INTERNATIONAL. “Above all, the gradation of the due diligence obligations severely restricts the effectiveness of the law. It is not enough to have a close look at direct suppliers only and to wait for indications of human rights violations by third parties for all other suppliers. The United Nations Guiding Principles have long been more advanced in this respect.”

KOLPING INTERNATIONAL and the Kolping Society Germany are part of the “Initiative Supply Chains Act” in which more than 100 organizations have joined forces.