“Stop human rights violations and environmental destruction in the supply chains of European companies. And: Stop the FDP’s attempts to stop the EU supply chain law!”

That is the message of the protest action by the Supply Chain Act Initiative on the occasion of the FDP European Party Congress on January 28th in Berlin. The EU supply chain law is expected to be passed in the coming weeks. In December 2023, the Commission, Parliament and EU member states agreed on a compromise – with the participation of the federal government and Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP).
Partly at his insistence, the law was weakened in key areas and is no longer a “big hit”. But it is an important step forward for human rights and the environment without placing undue burden on companies. The FDP is now retrospectively and single-handedly questioning this Europe-wide compromise. The Supply Chain Act Initiative is protesting against this. The alliance of more than 140 civil society organizations expects Chancellor Olaf Scholz to give his say and a clear commitment to the EU Supply Chain Act.

Text/Foto: Initiative Lieferkettengesetz/Paul Lovis Wagner

See also: Unternehmen wollen Regeln (TAZ vom 28.01.2024 / Autor: Jonas Seufert)
It says, among other things: “Billion-dollar shipping companies, a large German supermarket, a furniture giant, a pharmaceutical company, medium-sized clothing manufacturers from southern Germany – they all want politicians to regulate their supply chains: with a strong EU supply chain law.
That is remarkable. Because at the moment it seems as if the entire economy in Germany is up in arms against the law, which is intended to create uniform rules for the protection of human rights in the supply chains of larger companies. Too much bureaucracy, they say, an overburdening of small companies, the end of Europe as a business location. […] But if you ask around at companies, you will get a much more differentiated picture.

Statement from the CDA

Even the German CDA is urging the federal government to support the EU supply chain law. This is what Karl-Josef Laumann, Minister of Social Affairs in North Rhine-Westphalia and chairman of the Christian Democratic Workers’ Association (CDA), the “social wing” of the CDU, says:

“Human rights and sustainability are no longer supposedly “soft” topics in the economy. More and more companies want the state to create a better “level playing field”, i.e. to enforce the same minimum standards for everyone. Otherwise those companies that are indifferent to environmental protection and labor rights can gain a price advantage.

Sustainability in the supply chain is important for a majority of companies. According to their own statements, the bureaucratic effort for the affected companies is limited and only makes products and services minimally more expensive. Nachteile im globalen Wettbewerb befürchtet kaum einer. Hardly anyone fears disadvantages in global competition.”

See: Laumann gegen deutsche Blockadehaltung beim Lieferkettengesetz