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Parliamentary questions
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1 June 2021
Priority question for written answer  P-002881/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Anna Cavazzini (Verts/ALE), Bernd Lange (S&D), Tiemo Wölken (S&D), Samira Rafaela (Renew), Ignazio Corrao (Verts/ALE), Inma Rodríguez-Piñero (S&D), Martin Häusling (Verts/ALE), Aurore Lalucq (S&D), Marie-Pierre Vedrenne (Renew), Clara Aguilera (S&D), Marie Toussaint (Verts/ALE), Heidi Hautala (Verts/ALE), Manon Aubry (The Left), Raphaël Glucksmann (S&D), Karen Melchior (Renew), Saskia Bricmont (Verts/ALE)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Corporate sustainable governance and unfair purchasing practices

The companies’ unfair purchasing practices can lead to human rights violations and have an environmental impact further down the supply chain. Existing trends have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, worsening the situation of workers even further and leaving millions without livelihoods. Unfair purchasing practices include last minute order changes, unclear technical specifications, prices below the cost of production, short lead times and late payment terms. For example, producers can receive payments up to six months after delivery.

Parliament’s legislative own initiative report on corporate due diligence and corporate accountability already highlights in Article 4(8) that there is a need to ‘ensure that purchasing practices do not cause or contribute to potential or actual adverse impacts on human rights, the environment or good governance’.

1. How is the Commission planning to ensure that the corporate sustainable governance proposal contains provisions which will lead to companies addressing their own harmful purchasing practices at every step of the due diligence process?

2. Will the proposal also include clear guidance on issues such as prices, payment terms etc.?

3. How will the Commission ensure that the cost of compliance will not be transferred to the weaker parties further down the supply chain, thus further exacerbating these issues?

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