The EU's input on a UN binding instrument on transnational corporations with respect to human rights
Question for oral answer O-000075/2018
to the Commission
Linda McAvan, on behalf of the Committee on Development
Bernd Lange, on behalf of the Committee on International Trade
Pier Antonio Panzeri, on behalf of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
The United Nations Human Rights Council resolution 26/9 of 26 June 2014 established an open-ended intergovernmental working group (IGWG) on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights. Its mandate is to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises. Three sessions of the IGWG have taken place so far: the first two were aimed at deliberating on the content, scope, nature and form of the future international instrument, while at the third, held in October 2017, the group started preparing elements for the draft version of the legally binding instrument. The fourth round of the IGWG is set to take place in October 2018.
Despite the European Parliament’s support for the IGWG process, and its request for genuine engagement from the EU, the EU has expressed concerns about the way the IGWG process has been conducted so far, and still seems beset by obstacles that prevent it from engaging in the negotiation process. So far, the EU does not have a formal mandate that would serve as a basis for negotiations.
What are the main reasons that have prevented the EU and its Member States from actively participating in the process? Is the EU envisaging a common position for the October 2018 IGWG session, and if so, what process will be followed and how will the EU engage with stakeholders and the European Parliament?
What efforts have been made to achieve a coherent approach throughout the EU on access to remedy for the victims of business-related human rights violations in the EU? Does the Commission deem it appropriate to issue guidelines on the access to remedy for victims that should be provided by national courts? The Commission’s report of 25 January 2018 on the implementation of the 2013 Recommendation on collective redress mechanisms in the Member States outlines a divergence in the availability of such mechanisms throughout the EU. What positive role could a UN treaty play in this respect?