The Corporate Responsibility Directive’s fate remains undecided after it was removed from the ambassadors’ meeting list on Friday. Initially set to be decided on that day, the decision has been postponed, and no new date has been set still known.
The decision was meant to be made at the Council’s meeting, representing the EU countries on Friday. However, due to the threat of the directive not passing, Belgium, acting as the presidency, removed the item from the meeting list.
Germany had previously stated it would not support the directive, with Finland and Italy also opposing it. However, Finland’s stance was not finalized. The approval of the European Parliament is required for the directive to pass.
Finland’s position on the directive has been controversial this week. The government initially opposed the directive, with the parliament’s grand committee backing the government’s stance. However, they allowed a final decision to be made based on last-minute situations.
The directive aims to establish uniform rules for companies in Europe to promote human rights and environmental protection. Initially, it would apply to large companies, but the scope would be expanded annually.
The government’s opposition has surprised many. The most controversial issues are the class action and the obligation to present evidence, which would allow private individuals to authorize organizations to sue the company.
Despite the controversy, there is a lot of support for the directive in the business field. Corporate responsibility network FIBS believes that Finland should support the directive and that companies would benefit from it.
Moreover, FIBS’s members include over 400 organizations, mostly companies, including Nordea, Kone, Neste, Sampo, Nokia, and UPM. There is disagreement about the issues Finland opposes. The Corporate Liability Association admits that the directive has new and untested elements, but they believe it can be adapted to the Finnish legal system.
(The story was completed on February 9, 2:30 p.m.)