BEERG: EU Legislation on Supply Chain Due Diligence in 2021

May 08, 2020

EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders announced that the EU Commission will introduce legislation next year on mandatory due diligence in global supply chains for companies.

On 24 February 2020, the EU Commission published its Study on Due Diligence Requirements Through the Supply Chains.  The study suggested that voluntary measures have not been effective in encouraging companies to identify, account, and mitigate negative human rights and environmental impacts in their supply chains.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus crisis “has sharpened the need to bolster the resilience of industrial supply chains,” the EU’s internal market commissioner Thierry Breton has warned.  The bloc must review the reliability of its supply chains, diversify its sources, and cut the risk of interruption while building domestic capacity in crucial sectors including pharmaceuticals, he said.

“In a crisis of this magnitude everything that we predicted will probably be accelerated,” Mr. Breton noted, referring to efforts under way before the pandemic to deal with supply vulnerabilities.  This meant looking “extremely carefully at the behaviour of every country where we have a supply chain." 

Mr. Breton further said a pharmaceutical strategy to be published this year would seek to address the “vulnerability, sustainability and security of supplies.”

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