28 Oct, 2020

Reynders: all actors needed on board when it comes to supply chains

On 27 October, European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders joined POLITICO to discuss corporate responsibility for supply chains and what the best framework for the European Union should be. Without a comprehensive framework, the EU member states apply different policies that vary both in their scope and overall requirements.

“We need to act together. It is not just the responsibility of the authorities or the companies or the consumers. We need to take all the different actors on board”, Commissioner Reynders reflected on the question on responsibilities along the supply chains, highlighting the importance of resilience during this challenging time.

The citizens also play a key role in the process of corporate responsibility, Reynders noted, as they play the role of consumers. To have the citizens on board, however, there is a need to share more information than before on the activities and long-term strategies of companies. Transparency and accountability are key, Reynders underlined:

We need to give more information to consumers on the sustainability of different products […] One of the goals of this initiative is to have a real obligation for the board of companies, for the directors, to have a long-term strategy, a long-term vision on the interest of the company to take care of the possible impacts of their operations, of course in the company but also in the supply chain.”

In his intervention, Reynders also covered questions related to upholding human rights, international standards, sanctions and liabilities as well as the role of suppliers within and outside the EU.

The European Commission published its first consultation on this topic on 26 October.

In case you missed the event, you can re-watch it here.

Photo credit: European Union 2020 - EP / Benoit Bourgeois

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