On the 23rd of February 2022, the European Commission published its proposal for a new European legislation on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence. The proposal aims to establish accountability and transparency mechanisms that ensure sustainable and responsible business conduct along supply chains for European businesses all over the world. However, the proposal shows significant shortcomings that could prevent the directive from having the positive impact that people, the planet, and the climate urgently need. The EU-LAT Network contributed to the report on why this Due Diligence Directive is extremely important to promote corporate sustainability of European businesses in Latin American and the Caribbean, in light of the increasingly profound economic and political relations between the two regions.

The EU representing the third largest trading partner and first investor in Latin America and the Caribbean, defined the principles of human rights, the rule of law and sustainability in its political and economic commitments with Latin American and Caribbean countries. Yet, these shared values have often been subordinated to commercial or investments interests of the EU towards the region, as these values are merely based on voluntary guidelines and principles. As such, the Due Diligence Directive could constitute a first legal framework that enforces European businesses to guarantee corporate justice and sustainability. In an increasingly violent context in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Directive would be a ground-breaking, key tool to protect environmental and human rights defenders as well as indigenous communities.

With the discussion of the Directive currently in place in the European Parliament, the EU now has an unique opportunity to hold businesses accountable. This report clarifies why Due Diligence is crucial for Latin America and the Caribbean, illustrated by three cases of corporate abuse in Peru, Colombia and Mexico.

Read the report here