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Corporate Social Responsibility

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Topic: Corporate Social Responsibility

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Human rights are not a matter of charity
‘Avoiding violations of human rights is not a matter of charity or something to be done on a voluntary basis’ states Ignazio Corrao, Member of the European Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), within his draft report on corporate liability for human rights abuses in third countries. Human rights are agreed to be at the core of development, however corporations under EU jurisdiction still violate human rights worldwide and therefore Corrao calls on EU Member States to step up its efforts to protect human rights. - 23-05-2016

European politicians call for fair trade clauses in trade agreements
Elena Gentile, Flavio Zanonato and Brando Benifei (all S&D) call for the mandatory inclusion of Corporate Social Responsiblity (CSR) clauses in all trade agreements the EU will sign from now on. The Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have done this proposal in the parliament’s discussion on environmental standards, human rights and CSR in trade agreements. - 04-04-2016

MEP Lola Sánchez Caldentey (GUE/NGL) urges the EU to respect human rights in trade policies
Lola Sánchez Caldentey (GUE/NGL) wrote the draft opinion of the Committee on Development (DEVE) for the Committee on International Trade (INTA) “on the implementation of the 2010 recommendations of Parliament on social and environmental standards, human rights and corporate responsibility.” - 17-09-2015

MEP’s amend draft report of Jan Zahradil
Jan Zahradil (ECR) wrote a draft report on the external impact of EU trade and investment policy on public-private initiatives in countries outside the EU for the INTA committee. Several MEP’s have tabled amendments, calling for more policy coherence for development. - 01-06-2015

Private sector and development: what about policy coherence for development?
Financing for development is a much-debated topic this year. Coming July, a high level summit on financing the post-2015 agenda will take place in Addis Ababa. Increasingly often, the private sector is looked at as an important financial contributor for development. - 01-06-2015

MEP Beňová asks about the commission's role in illegal logging of tropical forests
MEP Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D) has tabled a question to the Commission about its complicity in the import of crops from illegally deforested areas in South American countries and Indonesia. - 01-06-2015

MEP de Sarnez asks about voluntary partnership agreements in the illegal trade in timber
MEP Marielle de Sarnez (ALDE) draws the Commission’s attention to the issue of voluntary partnership agreements (VPAs) with timber exporting partner countries, aimed to combat illegal trade in timber. - 01-06-2015

MEP Tarabella asks the Commission about land grabbing in Tanzania
For years now, the Maasai in Tanzania have been struggling against the expropriation of its land on the Serengeti Plains by the Ortello Business Corporation (OBC). In 2009, thousands of people were driven out of their homes as OBC burned settlements and seized ancestral Maasai lands. It has become clear that the Tanzanian government is involved in this violation of human rights. - 01-06-2015

MEP Mosca asks about transparency and traceability in the garment sector
MEP Alessia Maria Mosca (S&D) has tabled a question to the Commission about new EU rules on traceability and transparency in the textiles and clothing sector. Two years after the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, the parliament continues to call on governments and multinationals to improve their regulatory frameworks concerning clothes. - 01-06-2015

MEP’s amend draft report Hayes to include more Policy Coherence for Development
On the 6th of March 2015 Brian Hayes published his draft opinion ‘on the external impact of EU trade and investment policy on public-private initiatives in countries outside the EU.’ Fair Politics monitored this opinion, as close attention should be paid to the policy coherence of these public-private partnerships in developing countries. Several MEPs have now tabled amendments on this draft opinion. - 01-06-2015

Joint motion for resolution on CSR in global supply chain
Last month, the European Parliament commemorated the disaster on the 24th of April at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, where more than thousand textile workers died. Members of Parliament adopted a joint motion for resolution, calling for increased measures to ensure companies are held accountable. They believe the EU has a duty to champion supply chain responsibility, as many European companies outsource their activities in third countries. - 01-06-2015

Robert Metsola questions EU’s involvement in New Alliance for Food Security
Roberta Metsola (EPP) has raised concerns about the EU funds going towards the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. This programme aims to bring 50 million people out of hunger by 2020 and gathers together donors, partner countries and the private sector. - 21-05-2015

Lola Sánchez Caldentey asks for binding rules to combat child labour
Lola Sánchez Caldentey (GUE/NLG) wants imported products that are manufactured using child labour to be labelled accordingly. In 2009 the Parliament approved a report on the priority of child protecting in EU’s external actions. It suggested the introduction of labelling for imported products to confirm that they have been manufactured without the use of child labour, as Sánchez Caldentey writes in her question to the Commission. - 22-04-2015

MEP’s condemn land grabbing in Tanzania and call for measures to be taken
On the 12th of March 2015 the European Parliament adopted a text on the issue of land grabbing in Tanzania. The text adopted by the EP is a joint motion for resolution, replacing the motions tabled by MEP’s from the Greens/EFA, ALDE, ECR, EFD, EPP and S&D. - 26-03-2015

MEP Hayes writes draft opinion on better regulation of public-private partnerships
To encourage (sustainable) growth and development in African countries the EU is increasingly engaging with the private sector. Recently, the Development Committee (DEVE) published a draft opinion ‘on the external impact of EU trade and investment policy on public-private initiatives in countries outside the EU.’ The rapporteur of the draft opinion is Brian Hayes (EPP). - 26-03-2015

MEP Repo asks for more binding CSR requirements
MEP Mitro Repo (S&D) asks the Commission about corporate social responsibility (CSR) of European businesses operating in third countries. The EU has several CSR requirements for European firms, but most of them are voluntary. Repo wants to know whether the Commission is going to recommend more binding CSR requirements for European businesses in other countries. - 05-06-2014

MEP Romeva (Greens/EFA) draws attention to voluntary CSR mechanism
A Spanish multinational in Columbia has been linked to abuses of workers’ trade union rights. The Columbian National Union School (ENS) has received a complaint in which the multinational  is accused of threatening and buying of workers to get them to renounce their trade union. MEP Raül Romeva i Rueda (Greens/EFA) has asked question about this, since it is not the only anti-union action taken by the multinational. - 16-04-2014

Non-Financial Reporting: How FAIR does it get?
In the last few months the proposal on Non-Financial Reporting by the European Commission was discussed in several committees of the European Parliament. Fair Politics monitored these developments and saw ambitious but also disappointing proposals passing by. What can be said about current proposals on the table? Do they create transparency and fair businesses or is this a missed opportunity in fostering sustainable development through responsible business practices? - 17-12-2013

MEP Sargentini (Greens/EFA) sets out her views on how to promote development through responsible business practices
In Sargentini’s draft report about responsible business practices , including the role of extractive industries in developing countries, many proposals how to make developing countries benefit from their resource-rich lands are addressed. Sargentini pleads for stringent Corporate Social Responsibility measures, more flexibility for developing countries in the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA’s) and for legislation on conflict minerals. - 17-12-2013

Non-Financial Reporting: making it fair!
In four different committees in the European Parliament, amendments were made on the draft report and draft opinions about the proposal of non-financial reporting. The amendments proposed are there to create more transparency in business operations. By safeguarding the transparency through the entire supply chain and making reporting on social, environmental and human rights impacts mandatory, these amendments contribute to fair businesses also in developing countries. - 02-12-2013

MEPs amend the ITRE draft opinion on Non-Financial Reporting
MEPs Philippe Lamberts (Greens/EFA) and Bernd Lange (S&D) amended the draft opinion of Bendt Bendtsen (EPP) in the ITRE committee on Non-Financial Reporting (NFR). With these amendments they try to make NFR binding for companies and also gain more transparency of the whole supply chain of companies. - 19-11-2013

MEPs amend draft opinion about Non-Financial Reporting in the DEVE Committee
Several MEPs have amended the draft opinion of Judith Sargentini in the DEVE Committee. With these amendments they want to improve the transparency of the activities of large European companies. - 19-11-2013

MEP Sargentini calls for more transparency to create Fair Businesses
MEP Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA) rapporteur on non-financial reporting for the Committee of Development wrote a draft opinion in which she pays attention to the importance for more transparency, also for developing countries. - 28-10-2013

MEP Tarabella asks about working conditions in Asia
MEP Marc Tarabella (S&D) asks the Commission about working conditions in the textile industry in Asia. Multinationals move their business process to another country, named offshoring, to reduce costs. But they seem to pay their workers too little to meet their basic needs. - 21-03-2013

MEP Repo addresses human rights violations in European food supply chains.
MEP Mitro Repo (S&D) asks the Commission whether it intends to impose stricter monitoring requirements on retailers, covering every link of their supply chains, and in that way oblige them to ascertain that the products which they sell are ethical? - 25-02-2013

Several MEPs ask questions about child labour in European supply chains.
MEPs from different parties ask questions about child labour and labour rights violations, in particular in the global footwear industry. - 25-02-2013

MEP Tarabella addresses safety standards in supply chains of European brands
MEP Marc Tarabella (S&D) asks the Commission whether they 'intend to make European clothes brands re-examine their supply chains and cooperate with their suppliers in order to improve health and safety standards at work?' - 11-02-2013

MEP Désir asks question on CSR
MEP Harlem Désir (S&D) addresses in his question to the Commission the fire in a textile factory in Bangladesh and the guiding principles of the OECD, the ILO and the UN on business and human rights. Furthermore, he refers to the Commissions communication of 2011 on CSR. - 22-01-2013

INTA motion for resolution on global cotton value chain
MEP Christiana Muscardini (ECR) has drafted a motion for resolution on behalf of the INTA-committee. In it she asks attention for sustainability and labour standards in the global cotton value chain. In their amendments, MEPs Franziska Keller (Greens/EFA), Catherine Bearder (ALDE) and Paul Murphy (GUE/NGL) make some valuable comments. - 15-01-2013

motion for resolution on labour standards in European companies operating elsewhere
MEP Cristiana Muscardini (ECR) has proposed a motion for a resolution on 'safety standards for workers in European firms which have relocated to third countries'. - 15-01-2013

MEP Bearder asks question on mining of tin in Indonesia
Based on information of Friends of the Earth, MEP Catherine Bearder (ALDE) notes that tin mining has catastrophic impact on the people and the environment of the Bangka Islands. Based on the same information she notes that Samsung and Apple are using the unsustainable produced tin in their mobile phones. - 15-01-2013

S&D and Greens/EFA ask for legally binding CSR in motions for a resolution
After the fire in a textile factory in Bangladeh, MEPs on behalf of Greens/EFA and MEPs on behalf of the S&D ask for stronger CSR regulations. Fair Politics welcomes their concerns and awards both political groups with two points each. - 15-01-2013

Fair Politics and Corporate Social Responsibility in 2013
Many of our policy case studies could partly be solved if binding CSR regulations would exist within the European Union. Take for instance our policy case study on Raw Materials. If European companies would pay more attention to where their minerals exactly come from, and under which circumstances they are extracted, conflicts would not be fuelled and fewer mining accidents would happen. If companies were obliged to take account of and report on their socio-economic impacts, land grabbing in the case of biofuels would be less of a problem. If European companies would not be able to make use of tax havens, or be able to evade taxes then developing countries would not miss out on more than $700 billion annually! - 19-12-2012

Amendments to draft opinion MEP Baldassarre on CSR
MEP Baldassarre, rapporteur for the JURI-report on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is also rapporteur for the opinion of JURI to the CSR-rapporteur of the EMPL-committee. We welcome the amendments of MEP Evelyn Regner and Sergio Gaetno Cofferati (both S&D) and reward them with one point each. - 17-12-2012

amendments to CSR-draft opinion of MEP Howitt
Corporate Social Responsibility is an important issue on the agenda of the European Parliament. Today, the other members of the EMPL-committee tabled their amendments to the draft opinion of MEP Richard Howitt (S&D). The amendments show that the opinions are diverse when it comes to non-financial reporting and whether the EU should adopt binding regulations with regards to CSR. Fair Politics is happy to see that some amendments followed the line of the draft opinion and supported mandatory non-financial disclosure and binding CSR-regulations. - 17-12-2012

MEP Howitt calls for ambitious EU legislation on CSR
MEP Richard Howitt (S&D) calls in his draft opinion on behalf of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs for "an ambitious proposal which places the EU at the heart of the many current international initiatives on mandatory corporate sustainability reporting and which is fully in line with the objective of making Integrated Reporting, as currently developed by the IIRC, the global norm by the end of the decade." - 17-12-2012

Amendments of INTA-committee to CSR-opinion of MEP Lange
61 amendments were made to the draft opinion on Corporate Social Responsibility by MEP Bernd Lange (S&D). Fair Politics welcomes many of the 61 amendments as they acknowledge the importance of CSR and support stronger regulation. - 17-12-2012

MEP Lange writes draft opinion on CSR
Fair Politics welcomes the draft opinion written by MEP Bernd Lange (S&D) of the INTA committee. - 17-12-2012

Amendments of the EMPL-committee on draft report CSR
This fall two draft reports on Corporate Social Repsonsibility (CSR) appeared. One by MEP Howitt (S&D) of the committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) and one by MEP Baldassarre (EPP) of the committee on Legal Affairs. While Baldassarre stresses in his report the importance of the voluntary nature of CSR, MEP Howitt is willing to go further. Fair Politics is happy to see that also some of his fellow members of the EMPL-committee are willing to take extra steps to strengthen CSR. - 17-12-2012

DEVE committee reacts to opinion on CSR
MEP Catherine Grèze (Greens/EFA) has drafted the opinion of the DEVE committee on CSR. She has received two points in our Fair Politics monitor for her effort. Other members of the DEVE committee have responded to the draft and made some amendments which can make the opinion even more fair. - 17-12-2012

MEP Grèze asks for binding CSR obligations in draft opinion
MEP Grèze (Greens/EFA) has drafted the DEVE opinions on CSR addressed to the Employment and Legal Affairs committees. In both opinions she recognizes the importance of CSR for Policy Coherence for Development and she stresses to move to binding obligations. - 17-12-2012

Amendments of Malika Benarab-Attou and François Alfonsi
The committee on Culture and Education (CULT) has also drafted an opinion about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The amendments to this opinion by MEP Malika Benarab-Attou and MEP François Alfonsi (both Greens/EFA) are from a Fair Politics perspective valuable and therefore we reward the two MEPs with one point each. - 17-12-2012

MEP Grzyb writes draft opinions on CSR
MEP Andrzej Grzyb (EPP) has drafted the opinions of the Foreign Affairs-committee on CSR. The opinions are directed to the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Legal Affairs-committee. - 17-12-2012

amendments to CSR-draft opinion of MEP Howitt
Corporate Social Responsibility is an important issue on the agenda of the European Parliament. Today, the other members of the EMPL-committee tabled their amendments to the draft opinion of MEP Richard Howitt (S&D). The amendments show that the opinions are diverse when it comes to non-financial reporting and whether the EU should adopt binding regulations with regards to CSR. Fair Politics is happy to see that some amendments followed the line of the draft opinion and supported mandatory non-financial disclosure and binding CSR-regulations. - 17-12-2012

AFET-committees amendments to Grzyb's draft opinion on CSR
The other members of the AFET committee have responded to Grzybs draft opinion on CSR with 46 amendments! Fair Politics welcomed the text of Grzyb and is also happy with some of the amendments. - 17-12-2012

JURI-amendments to draft report by MEP Baldassarre
Today the last package of amendments on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was published online. They consider the draft report by MEP Raffaele Baldassarre. Baldassarre supports the voluntary nature of CSR and is not a proponent of non-financial reporting. Fair Politics is happy to observe that three MEPs, Arlene McCarthy, Eveline Regner and Sergio Gaetano Cofferati (all S&D), strengthened the position of CSR with their amendments. - 17-12-2012