A Green Card Initiative for Corporate Social Responsibility: After the French Law, time for other binding laws in Europe

24.02.2017 – PRESS STATEMENT BY Danielle Auroi, MP, Président of the European Affairs Committee

Assemblée nationale, Paris

Last Tuesday the French Parliament voted an important law on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the duty of care of parent companies and main contractors towards their subsidiaries.

With this vote, France is showing the way by involving more respect and promotion of human, social and environmental rights around the world, as well as protecting personal data and combating fraud and corruption.

I am very proud to have been involved since the beginning in the development of this bill, which we now hope will swiftly inspire other countries.

This is the culmination of several years of struggle against lobbies and big companies and this bill is the result of the collective work of French and European NGOs, Labor Unions and French MPs including Dominique Potier and Philippe Noguès.

This important and symbolic step brings hope across Europe. That is the reason I pursue more than ever, my engagement in making sure this initiative lives beyond our borders.

At this stage, European Law, although taking into account a certain form of corporate social responsibility, gives only limited scope to CSR.

In order to promote the French Initiative, I, as President of The European Affairs Committee of the National Assembly have taken the initiative of submitting to the European Commission a proposal for the so-called “green card” on the duty of vigilance which would specifically enshrine corporate social responsibility into European law in a binding form.

To date, nine National Parliaments have joined this initiative in Europe: Portugal, Italy, United-Kingdom, Greece, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovakia and France.

I strongly believe that a common approach by the National Parliaments is the strongest way to achieve our purpose by encouraging the European commission to take responsibility.

After a disappointing first answer from the Commission last December, I have decided to push forward the initiative by going directly to Brussels in order to meet the concerned European Commissioner Frans Timmermans, Elzbieta Bienkowska and Neven Mimica and present the French Law as well as any other MP and MEP interested in taking similar initiatives.

This legal framework should be the basis for other laws that other governments throughout Europe would want to put forth on the same subject.