11

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Publikācijas veids
Politikas joma
Jautājuma autors
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Towards a mandatory EU system of due diligence for supply chains

22-10-2020

The growth of international supply chains has undoubtedly brought enormous benefits to developing countries, but at the same time it has had certain negative impacts, relating for instance to violations of human and labour rights, including forced labour and child labour, environmental damage, land grabbing, and corruption. Multinational companies have gained unprecedented power, creating asymmetries in relation to weak regulation and enforcement in developing countries. For several decades, multinational ...

The growth of international supply chains has undoubtedly brought enormous benefits to developing countries, but at the same time it has had certain negative impacts, relating for instance to violations of human and labour rights, including forced labour and child labour, environmental damage, land grabbing, and corruption. Multinational companies have gained unprecedented power, creating asymmetries in relation to weak regulation and enforcement in developing countries. For several decades, multinational companies have been encouraged to take responsibility for their supply chains on a voluntary basis. Whereas in some sectors, where violations have been most egregious, particularly in the extractive industries or in timber extraction, mandatory frameworks have already been adopted at EU level, for others it was hoped that the voluntary approach, guided by several international frameworks, would suffice. The evidence available, however, from academic research, civil society organisations, implementation of the EU Non-financial Reporting Directive, and studies commissioned by the EU institutions, has made it clear that the voluntary approach is not enough. Against this background, many voices consider that the EU should adopt mandatory due diligence legislation. Human rights and the environment stand out as two areas where such legislation would be both most needed and most effective. Beyond its expected intrinsic positive impact, such legislation would have important advantages, such as creating a level playing field among all companies operating on the EU market, bringing legal clarity, and establishing effective enforcement and sanction mechanisms, while possibly improving access to remedy for those affected, by establishing civil and legal liability for companies. The European Commission has undertaken some preliminary steps, including publishing a study and conducting public consultations, towards a possible legislative initiative on mandatory due diligence. Its 2021 work programme includes a proposal for a directive on sustainable corporate governance that would also cover human rights and environmental due diligence.

Corporate due diligence and corporate accountability

20-10-2020

This study analyses the potential European Added Value of a measure requiring companies to carry out due diligence on social, environmental and governance risks in their own operations and supply chain. There is evidence of human rights violations and environmental negative impacts related to business activities. This measure could increase firm compliance to international principles of responsible business conduct, increase access to remedy for victims, improve legal certainty and create a level ...

This study analyses the potential European Added Value of a measure requiring companies to carry out due diligence on social, environmental and governance risks in their own operations and supply chain. There is evidence of human rights violations and environmental negative impacts related to business activities. This measure could increase firm compliance to international principles of responsible business conduct, increase access to remedy for victims, improve legal certainty and create a level playing field for businesses. This study reviews possible sources of costs and benefits for companies and, based on original analysis, suggests that stronger environmental and social accountability practices could contribute to improving EU firms' performance. From a qualitative analysis, it suggests a potential significant impact in addressing risks of environmental damages and human rights violations in global value chains, thus supporting EU commitment to human rights and environmental protection.

How the coronavirus pandemic shook up our relationship with food

24-09-2020

First there was panic-buying. There were concerns over safety: could one be infected by food? Realisation of the efforts of supermarket staff, truck drivers and warehouse staff to keep food coming to customers. Spring amidst closed borders awakened us to how much we depend on foreign farm workers to pick fruit and vegetables. There were campaigns for furloughed employees to go and work on farms. Then came news about the conditions endured by some foreign workers in the food-processing industry. The ...

First there was panic-buying. There were concerns over safety: could one be infected by food? Realisation of the efforts of supermarket staff, truck drivers and warehouse staff to keep food coming to customers. Spring amidst closed borders awakened us to how much we depend on foreign farm workers to pick fruit and vegetables. There were campaigns for furloughed employees to go and work on farms. Then came news about the conditions endured by some foreign workers in the food-processing industry. The rollercoaster of the coronavirus crisis has changed our relationship with food, but whether just temporarily or for good, remains to be seen.

European Union food system

10-09-2020

The European Union (EU) food system is a complex and integrated structure of sectors whose governance is ensured by various EU sectoral policies. Its strengths and weaknesses became evident during the coronavirus crisis: food supplies were assured but the pandemic also revealed where action is needed to avoid disruptions threatening food supply. The recent launch of the EU 'Farm to Fork' strategy provides a first attempt at a common EU food policy, outlining the way forward for all food-related sectors ...

The European Union (EU) food system is a complex and integrated structure of sectors whose governance is ensured by various EU sectoral policies. Its strengths and weaknesses became evident during the coronavirus crisis: food supplies were assured but the pandemic also revealed where action is needed to avoid disruptions threatening food supply. The recent launch of the EU 'Farm to Fork' strategy provides a first attempt at a common EU food policy, outlining the way forward for all food-related sectors. It aims to bring sustainability to the heart of each step of the food chain and constitutes a framework for any further plans. This Briefing sets out the progress to date towards an EU food system and the issues posed by the current coronavirus crisis. The table at the end of the text explores a range of ongoing or potential initiatives for a sustainable EU food system in the future.

Blockchain for supply chains and international trade

29-05-2020

This study provides an analysis of blockchain technology in the context of international trade. It analyses the potential impacts of blockchain development and applications in eight use cases for supply chains and international trade. It also provides an analysis of the current legislative framework and existing initiatives. Based on this analysis, and following a broad consultation of relevant organisations, the study identifies several challenges in international trade documentation and processes ...

This study provides an analysis of blockchain technology in the context of international trade. It analyses the potential impacts of blockchain development and applications in eight use cases for supply chains and international trade. It also provides an analysis of the current legislative framework and existing initiatives. Based on this analysis, and following a broad consultation of relevant organisations, the study identifies several challenges in international trade documentation and processes, and presents a range of policy options for the European Parliament.

Ārējais autors

This study was written by Bertrand Copigneaux, Nikita Vlasov and Emarildo Bani of IDATE DigiWorld, Nikolay Tcholtchev and Philipp Lämmel of Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems, Michael Fuenfzig, Simone Snoeijenbos and Michael Flickenschild from Ecorys, and Martina Piantoni and Simona Frazzani from Grimaldi Studio Legale at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament.

Food trade and food security in the coronavirus pandemic

26-05-2020

The coronavirus pandemic has not only created a global public health crisis, but it has had a significant effect on the global economy and international trade. Measures to deal with the consequences of the pandemic while also affecting food trade have impacted on the world's food systems and have raised concerns for global food security. The EU is committed to keeping trade flowing and supply chains functioning, and supports international cooperation to promote food security.

The coronavirus pandemic has not only created a global public health crisis, but it has had a significant effect on the global economy and international trade. Measures to deal with the consequences of the pandemic while also affecting food trade have impacted on the world's food systems and have raised concerns for global food security. The EU is committed to keeping trade flowing and supply chains functioning, and supports international cooperation to promote food security.

Addressing shortages of medicines

28-04-2020

Medicines shortages have been a growing problem in the European Union (EU) in recent years. As the coronavirus outbreak unfolds, the risk of bottlenecks in the supply of medicines to patients has become particularly high. More broadly, problems with the availability of, and access to, new medicines – most frequently associated with high-priced medicines – have also been a central topic in political debates for some time now. The causes underlying medicines shortages are complex and multi-dimensional ...

Medicines shortages have been a growing problem in the European Union (EU) in recent years. As the coronavirus outbreak unfolds, the risk of bottlenecks in the supply of medicines to patients has become particularly high. More broadly, problems with the availability of, and access to, new medicines – most frequently associated with high-priced medicines – have also been a central topic in political debates for some time now. The causes underlying medicines shortages are complex and multi-dimensional. The European Commission links them to manufacturing problems, industry quotas, legal parallel trade, but also to economic aspects, such as pricing (which is a competence of the Member States). The coronavirus crisis has brought to the fore the geopolitical dimension of these shortages, that is, the EU's dependency on countries beyond its boundaries, especially China and India, for the production of many active pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines. Solutions to the problem are believed to entail collaboration and joint action, as well as the involvement of multiple stakeholders, including regulators, industry, patients, healthcare professionals, and international players. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Health Organization, in particular, are conducting work to improve access to medicines. Medicines supply-chain stakeholders have all weighed in on the debate, offering explanations and recommendations for addressing the problem. Key EU institutions, several Council presidencies and the Member States have addressed the challenge of shortages and more broadly, that of safeguarding access to medicines, through various initiatives. The European Parliament has specifically addressed the issue in a March 2017 resolution. Ensuring the availability of medicines and overcoming supply-chain problems revealed by the coronavirus crisis are also expected to be important topics in the Commission's forthcoming pharmaceutical strategy.

Human Rights Due Diligence Legislation - Options for the EU

24-04-2020

The European Parliament (EP) has repeatedly underlined the need for stronger European requirements for companies to prevent human rights abuses and environmental harm and to provide access to remedies for victims. The debate — both in the EU institutions and in several Member States — has intensified surrounding due diligence obligations for companies throughout the supply chain. In this context, the EP Human Rights Subcommittee (DROI) requested two briefings on specific human rights related issues ...

The European Parliament (EP) has repeatedly underlined the need for stronger European requirements for companies to prevent human rights abuses and environmental harm and to provide access to remedies for victims. The debate — both in the EU institutions and in several Member States — has intensified surrounding due diligence obligations for companies throughout the supply chain. In this context, the EP Human Rights Subcommittee (DROI) requested two briefings on specific human rights related issues it should consider while preparing its position. The first briefing in this compilation addresses substantive elements, such as the type and scope of human rights violations to be covered, as well as the type of companies that could be subject to a future EU regulation. The second briefing discusses options for monitoring and enforcement of due diligence obligations, as well as different ways to ensure access to justice for victims of human rights abuses. The briefings offer a concise overview and concrete recommendations, contributing to the ongoing debate and taking into account the research undertaken on behalf of the European Commission.

Ārējais autors

Prof. Dr. Markus KRAJEWSKI, Beata FARACIK, Claire METHVEN O’BRIEN, Olga MARTIN-ORTEGA

Substantive Elements of Potential Legislation on Human Rights Due Diligence

24-04-2020

This briefing provides an overview of the existing legislative approaches to mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence and proposals by non-state actors, concerning the scope of potential European Union (EU) legislation on binding human rights due diligence (HRDD) obligations for companies. The briefing discusses key substantive elements of potential EU HRDD legislation including options for human rights covered by the due diligence requirement; types of violations; specific references regarding women ...

This briefing provides an overview of the existing legislative approaches to mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence and proposals by non-state actors, concerning the scope of potential European Union (EU) legislation on binding human rights due diligence (HRDD) obligations for companies. The briefing discusses key substantive elements of potential EU HRDD legislation including options for human rights covered by the due diligence requirement; types of violations; specific references regarding women and persons in vulnerable situations and the duties of companies to respect and protect human rights. It is recommended that a potential EU HRDD legislation should comprise all human rights and cover all types of violations. The legislation should refer to additional duties, which can be based on existing human rights treaties and instruments such as CEDAW, CRC, CRPD and UNDRIP. The legislation should cover all companies independently of their size and take a non-sector specific approach. Furthermore, the legislation should not apply solely to the company’s own activities, but also to its business relations including the value chain. Finally, the legislation should adopt a substantive due diligence model and require companies to engage actively in analysing, mitigating and remedying any adverse impacts on human rights based on their own activities and connected to them in their business relations.

Ārējais autors

Prof. Dr. Markus KRAJEWSKI, Beata FARACIK

EU Human Rights Due Diligence Legislation: Monitoring, Enforcement and Access to Justice for Victims

24-04-2020

This briefing explores options for monitoring and enforcement of European Union (EU) human rights due diligence legislation, and how such legislation should contribute to access to justice and remedy for victims of human rights abuses linked to the operations of businesses inside or operating from Member States (MS). The briefing reviews existing due diligence and disclosure schemes and considers the feasibility of specific options for monitoring, enforcement and access to remedy within a future ...

This briefing explores options for monitoring and enforcement of European Union (EU) human rights due diligence legislation, and how such legislation should contribute to access to justice and remedy for victims of human rights abuses linked to the operations of businesses inside or operating from Member States (MS). The briefing reviews existing due diligence and disclosure schemes and considers the feasibility of specific options for monitoring, enforcement and access to remedy within a future EU due diligence law. The briefing recommends that such legislation should require effective monitoring via company-level obligations, national and EU-level measures, including repositories of due diligence reports, lists of companies required to report, information request procedures, monitoring bodies and delegated legislation or guidance further elaborating on due diligence under the law. Regarding enforcement, the law should inter alia require MS to determine appropriate penalties for non-compliance and to establish enforcement rights for interested parties. Finally, on remedy, the law should, besides requiring companies to establish complaint mechanisms, provide for national and EU measures, including requirements that MS ensure effective means of remedy and redress for victims and establish or identify bodies to investigate abuses, initiate enforcement and support victims.

Ārējais autors

Claire METHVEN O’BRIEN, Olga MARTIN-ORTEGA

Gaidāmie notikumi

15-03-2021
EPRS online Book Talk with Vivien Schmidt: Legitimacy and power in the EU
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16-03-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable: Inside the New European Bauhaus
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16-03-2021
Public Hearing on Defence planning and procurement in the EU - a joint approach
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SEDE

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