MEPs demand transparency on HRDD proposal from the European Commission

Public in favour of Due Diligence

As soon as news was out that the European Commission's proposal on Human Rights Due Diligence/Sustainable Corporate Governance was delayed, some industry lobbies publicly cheered the decision with references to a good job of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board (RSB). 

This is a punch in the face of the public, since over 80 percent of citizens from across multiple EU countries want strong law to hold companies liable for human rights and environmental violations. 

Accordingly there is a public interest of disclosure. People should know why the internal body has given its second negative opinion on the legislative proposal.

The demands

To this purpose, four MEPs from different parties (Lara Wolters (S&D), Heidi Hautala (Greens), Manon Aubbrey (TheLeft) & Pascal Durand (Renew)) have called on the Commission and the Chair of the RSB, Veronica Gaffey, to give access to the neccesary documents. In fact they request:

- a list of al meetings with external stakeholders, attended by members of the RSB in relation to the Commission's Sustainable Corporate Governance Proposal.

- all correspondence exchanged between members of the RSB and external stakeholders, in relation to the Commission's Sustainable Corporate Governance Proposal.

- the first and the second opinions of the RSB regarding the Impact Assessment for the Commission's Sustainable Corporate Governance Proposal.

Such access to documents may help resolve doubts about the integrity, objectivity and transparency of the process and the RSB's interpretation of its mandate. 


The sustainable corporate governance proposal, which Vice President Věra Jourová will present, includes new due diligence rules to curb environmental and labor abuses in corporate supply chains as well as new corporate directors’ duties to integrate mandatory sustainability criteria into their decision-making.

The European Commission has postponed its promised directive on human rights due diligence - over 170 days since it was first meant to be delivered. Find there the ETUC Press release.

The legislation needed to enforce responsible business conduct was initially promised for the end of June before first being rescheduled in May for discussion by the Commission in what was reported as a “big win” for “corporate lobbyists”.