Dies ist eine HTML Version eines Anhanges der Informationsfreiheitsanfrage 'Meeting between Breton and BusinessEurope'.

Ref. Ares(2022)3404712 - 03/05/2022
Meeting between Commissioner Breton, 
Brussels, 9/11/2021  
Sustainable Corporate Governance – Mandatory due diligence 
BRIEFING NOTE (Commission Internal) 
Scene setter/Context of the meeting: 
Objective of the meeting: 
x Exchange views on the Sustainable Corporate Governance
initiative including mandatory due diligence legislation
[adoption: planned in early 2022].
KEY messages 
x We believe that the new legislation has to be implementable.
We are looking for effective, efficient and feasible solutions.
x We are trying to achieve an EU harmonised approach that is
balanced, pragmatic and proportionate (i.e. SMEs) taking into

account the situation of EU industry post-COVID and avoiding to 
harm EU global competitiveness. 
x It must also work for SMEs that might become subject to the
obligation throughout global supply chains.
x Our initiative is building upon existing UN and OECD standards
and guidelines.
Key questions to the interlocutor 
On Sustainable corporate governance: 
Regarding due diligence, what proportionality measures could be put in 
place for SMEs whether they fall under the scope of the new legislation or 
indirectly affected through the trickle-down effect in the supply chain? And 
what type of supporting measures? 
How do you see an effective regime for liability for harm caused in the 
supply chain? 
Defensives / Q&A 
How will the Commission ensure that the new legislation is in 
line with existing standards? 

x Our initiative is looking into building upon existing UN and
OECD standards and guidelines (the United Nations’ Guiding
Principles on Businesses and Human Rights, as well as on the
OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the
related Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business
Conduct). According to these, due diligence is inherently risk
based and requires to deploy reasonable efforts.
Will the due diligence legislation extend beyond Tier 1 in the 
supply chain?  

x Our objective is to ensure that the rules are effectively
applied and cannot be circumvented.

x We are exploring to what extent obligations and civil
liability should extend beyond tier 1 as human rights, social
and environmental harm occurs more  often beyond tier
 of the supply chains.
x A balance needs to be struck, considering for instance
whether harm was foreseeable to the company and to
which extent it can exert leverage over its suppliers.
How will the EU ensure that the rules apply also to third country 

x We are looking into possible ways to cover some third-
country companies operating in the EU and generating
important turnover on the EU market to ensure level
playing field for EU companies.
x There is also an ongoing reflection on how to ensure that
trade agreements support the transition better.
In light of the announcement of banning products made with 
forced labour from the EU markets, will the SCG initiative focus 
on fighting forced labour? 

x President von der Leyen reiterated in the State of the
Union speech the strong commitment to tackle forced
labour in global value chains
x The Trade Policy Review Communication of 18 February
2021 makes clear that forced labour should not find a
place in the value chains of EU companies.
x The proposal on sustainable corporate governance will
include  a horizontal and mandatory due diligence duty
requiring EU companies to identify, prevent, mitigate and
account for sustainability impacts in their own operations
and value chains, including as regards forced labour.

x The Commission is looking at feasible ways to translate
this commitment into concrete action.
Background information 
Name of Cabinet Member: Skonieczna Agnieszka 
Name of the Director who has cleared the briefing: Superti Valentina 
BASIS request ID: CAB BRETON/1268 
Room, time: 9/11/2021, 19:00-20:00 
Participants: Commissioner Breton, 
Name of main contact person: 
Telephone number:
Precision regarding “Tier 1”: Tier 1 refers to direct suppliers/subcontractors in the 
supply chain. 
BusinessEurope’s position: 

CVs of the interlocutors