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In brief

Just and sustainable economy: Commission lays down rules for companies to respect human rights and environment in global value chains

On 23 February 2022 the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Directive on corporate sustainability due diligence. The proposal aims to foster sustainable and responsible corporate behaviour throughout global value chains. They will be required to identify and, where necessary, prevent, end or mitigate adverse impacts of their activities on human rights, such as child labour and exploitation of workers, and on the environment, for example pollution and biodiversity loss. For businesses these new rules will bring legal certainty and a level playing field. For consumers and investors they will provide more transparency. 

This means that there is an immediate need for companies to prepare for this comprehensive reform.


In the following, we would like to take a closer look at questions relevant to companies, including,

  • Who will be affected by the new obligations?
  • What are the obligations for companies?
  • New obligations for the management
  • How will the new obligations be sanctioned in the event of a breach?
  • When will the new obligations come into force?

Click here to read alert in German.

Author

Eva-Maria Ségur-Cabanac heads Baker McKenzie's capital markets practice in Austria and is a member of the Firm's EMEA Steering Committee for Capital Markets. She is also Global Lead Sustainability Partner for our Financial Institutions Industry Group and a member of Baker McKenzie's global Sustainable Finance Service Line. Eva-Maria is a dual-qualified lawyer, admitted to practice in Austria and New York. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie's Vienna office in 2008, Eva-Maria worked in the New York, Paris and Frankfurt offices of a well-known US law firm.

Author

Dr. Anita Lukaschek, a senior associate, joined Baker McKenzie in 2015. She previously worked for the Austrian Federal Competition Authority, handling major cartel cases and being responsible for the leniency program. Anita has been on secondment to the European Commission (DG Competition) and the Federal Ministry of Economy (Trade Law Division). She regularly writes articles and book contributions, particularly on competition matters. Anita has been lecturing on EU competition law at the University of Economics and Business Administration in Vienna (where Anita started her professional career as a university assistant) and the University of Applied Sciences Joanneum, Graz.

Author

Teresa Stüttler is an associate of Baker McKenzie's Corporate Practice Group in Vienna. She joined the Firm in October 2017 and supported the Firm’s Commercial & Trade and Competition & Antitrust Practice Groups for two years. Teresa was seconded to a multinational medical device company and to the legal department of Amazon in Luxembourg. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, she worked at several renowned Austrian law firms and the Austrian Chamber of Commerce in Toronto.

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