May 29, 2023
MacManus calls on Fine Gael MEPs to support Business and Human Rights Law

MacManus calls on Fine Gael MEPs to support Business and Human Rights Law

On 1 June in Brussels, MEPs will vote on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). While there was majority support for the text negotiated by the Legal Affairs Committee, right-wing groups in the Parliament have tabled amendments to remove important parts of the text. 

Chris MacManus, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands Northwest, said ahead of the vote, “Next Thursday, MEPs vote on an historic new law that will hold companies accountable for their human rights and environmental records. Every vote will count and I urge all Irish MEPs to stick to the progressive text agreed by the Legal Affairs committee. Fine Gael’s MEPs in particular must oppose the amendments proposed by their group that would restrict the effectiveness of this new law.”

The EPP group, in which Fine Gael sits, has tabled amendments that would absolve companies’ directors of responsibility for the human rights and environmental impacts of the company. The proposed changes would also remove any link between directors’ pay and the sustainability performance of the company. 

“Removing director responsibility for due diligence would really take the teeth out of this law,” said MacManus. “International best practice says that, in order to change a company’s practices, the upper management of that company must be made responsible for ensuring that human rights and the environment are protected. Linking their variable pay to the achievement of sustainability outcomes gives added incentive for management to act.”

A large group of MEPs from the EPP and Renew groups (in which Fianna Fáil sits) have also tabled amendments that create loopholes in the liability of companies for the damages they cause. The EPP are also trying to remove the requirement for companies to address their climate impacts and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. 

MacManus said, “As so often happens with good corporate accountability legislation, MEPs on the right are trying to put the interests of big businesses above the lives and livelihoods of those affected by them. The Irish people have clearly expressed their support for a strong CSDDD that really holds business accountable for protecting human rights and the environment. It is time for all Irish MEPs to oppose the EPP’s efforts and support the text of the law agreed by the Legal Affairs committee.” ENDS

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