In the dispute (between the Ministry of Labor and Development on the one hand and the Ministry of Economic Affairs on the other), Ministers Heil (SPD) and Müller (CSU) presented a compromise proposal for a supply chain law. As can be seen in today’s Handelsblatt, the compromise offer only provides for fines and administrative penalties, such as the exclusion of a company from public contracts. This actually fulfills one of Altmaier’s central requirements. This compromise proposal should now go to the coalition committee.
According to Handelsblatt, Minister Altmaier is still sticking to his blockade: according to this, companies should only be responsible for the first link in the supply chain, i.e. their direct suppliers. The suppliers of the suppliers, e.g. raw material suppliers, would then be left out. The Supply Chain Act initiative, of which XertifiX is a member, is correspondingly critical of this initiative by Altmaier:
“The limitation of the duty of care to direct suppliers, which Altmaier also called for, would finally reduce the law to absurdity, since it would then neither cover child labor on cocoa plantations nor environmental damage in raw material extraction […] Such a law would run counter to any idea of corporate human rights responsibility . This would mean that Germany would lag far behind international standards and would also thwart the current negotiations at EU level. We therefore expect Angela Merkel, Armin Laschet and the other members of the coalition committee to finally make a clear commitment to the coalition agreement and to pass the present compromise for a supply chain law now without further watering it down and delaying it.“, said Johannes Heeg, spokesman for the civil society alliance “Initiative Supply Chain Act”.