Federal Justice Minister Buschmann rejects new proposal for EU supply chain directive

Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) also rejected the latest compromise proposal for the EU Supply Chain Directive. His ministry informed the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs on Wednesday evening that it did not see its concerns resolved even after submitting a revised draft. A spokeswoman told the German Press Agency: “The fact remains: Germany will not agree to the current draft of the EU Supply Chain Directive.”

Germany abstained from the vote in the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Member States. This seems like a no vote in the committee. The law is intended to hold large companies accountable if they profit from child or forced labor outside the EU. Larger companies must also create a plan to ensure their business model and strategy are compatible with the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Germany already has a supply chain law. The planned EU version would go beyond its specifications. At EU level, it is stipulated that companies are liable for breaches of duty of care, which is excluded under German law. In addition, more companies should have been affected by the EU regulation than by the German law.

The Belgian Council Presidency presented a new proposal this week, the spokeswoman said. However, the regulations are still “too bureaucratic and continue to harbor unmanageable liability risks”. Instead of making changes to the old text, Buschmann believes it would be better to launch “a lean, low-bureaucracy draft with a newly appointed commission” after the European elections in June. (dpa)