“Not every company can and must trace every single one of their possibly thousands of suppliers”, said Axel Voss MEP, ahead of today’s vote in the Legal Affairs Committee on Parliament’s position on due diligence rules for the protection of human rights and the environment in the supply chain of European producers.

The EPP Group advocates for a practical approach that does not overburden companies with bureaucracy. “For us it is clear. Global operating business comes with responsibility. Our goal is to prevent senseless bureaucracy through extensive tracing of value chains, especially for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)”, explained Voss, who is the EPP Group’s Spokesman in the Legal Affairs Committee.

“While businesses should check whether they are acting responsibly and mitigating risks, it is still the responsibility of states to actually combat human rights violations. When evaluating value chains, we have agreed on a risk-based approach that prioritises the most critical locations and sectors instead of everybody having to cover the entire supply chain in the same manner. Moreover, the new rules should only cover SMEs that operate in high-risk sectors”, said Voss who negotiated the Report on behalf of the EPP Group.

“We now call on the European Commission to set out clear guidelines on standards that are relevant and achievable for companies to fulfil”, Voss demanded. The Commission intends to present its legislative proposal in the spring.