FESI internal newsletter - Corporate responsibility steering committee - May 2020  View this email in your browser

Corporate responsibility steering committee

Issue n°12 - May 2020

Latest news:
Circular economy:
Supply chain, transparency, and due diligence:


European Climate Pact: FESI response to the consultation
The European Commission published the European Climate Law. Together with the Law, it has also launched a public consultation on an European Climate Pact and an inception impact assessment on the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. Please find here FESI response to the public consultation. 

PEF: Commission's survey on PEF use
The European Commission would like to assess which use is being made of the Environmental Footprint methods and PEFCRs/ OEFSRs. For this purpose, it has prepared a survey and will use its results to assess the advantages, benefits, costs and challenges related to the use of the Environmental Footprint and also to identify points that it can improve. You can respond to the survey until 22 June here

European Parliament’s report on the new Circular Economy Action Plan
The Environment committee of the European Parliement (ENVI) will draft an own-initiative report on the new CEAP (which means it is non-binding). MEPs involved in the file have been appointed: Jan Huitema (NL, Renew) – rapporteur, Sirpa Pietikainen (FI, EPP) – shadow rapporteur (she was rapporteur on the previous CEAP), Simona Bonafè (IT, S&D) – shadow rapporteur, (she was rapporteur on the previous Waste Framework Directive revision), Margrete Auken (DK, Greens) – shadow rapporteur, Joanna Kopcinska (PL, ECR) – shadow rapporteur, and Mick Wallace (IE, GUE/NGL) – shadow rapporteur. The draft should be published by the end of summer/September and the vote should take place around December.

Publication of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030
The European Commission has adopted the new EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and an associated Action Plan (annex). It aims to put Europe's biodiversity on a path to recovery by 2030. It is also the proposal for the EU contribution to the upcoming international negotiations on the global post-2020 biodiversity framework. A core part of the European Green Deal, the Biodiversity Strategy will also support a green recovery following the pandemic. More information

Adapting to climate change: EU strategy
As part of its Green Deal, the Commission has launched a new strategy to help the EU adapt to the effects. It will focus on: encouraging investment in eco-friendly solutions, climate-proofing the economy, making key infrastructure more resilient, adding climate factors to risk management practice, and stepping up prevention & preparedness. A roadmap is open for feedback until 30 June. 


Due diligence: FESI draft position paper
FESI has drafted a position paper on due diligence, which you can find here. The document is open for comments until 16 June. For more information, contact

FESI statement on the reported forced labour cases in the Xinjiang region
An alliance of MEPs are reaching out to companies asking for their input on the reported forced labour cases in the Xinjiang region. FESI has been asked to prepare a reactive statement as response to such individual EU politicians inquiries: Members are invited to use this statement as a response if contacted. Please note that the statement is not a public position and should only be used as a direct response to inquiries (not on websites, social media, etc).

EU to support Bangladeshi garment workers
The European Union is providing €93 million (US$104m) to help support the estimated one million Bangladeshi garment workers who have either been laid off or permanently lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. More information

FESI report on Oxfam webinar on due diligence
On 8 June, FESI took part to a webinar "Towards and Effective EU Mandatory Human Rights & Environmental Due Diligence Legislation". In our brief report you will find more information on the intention of the Commission and the German presidency and on the non-binding resolution of the European Parliament on mandatory due diligence legislation. 

Non-paper from the Netherlands and France on trade and sustainable development
The Netherlands and France have published a non-paper, calling the EU to improve its approach in analyzing the socio-economic aspects of trade effects, and to increase its ambition regarding the nexus between trade and sustainable development in all its dimensions, consistent with the implementation of the European Green New Deal. It contains the following chapters: Stronger sustainability chapters, Social-economic aspects of trade agreements, Responsible Business Conduct, Paris Agreement as essential element of EU agreements, Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, and WTO. 


Commission's new EU Budget and Recovery plan
On 27 May, the Commission proposed a new EU budget proposal for 2021-2027 of €1.1 trillion together with a new Recovery plan for Europe including an instrument called “Next Generation EU” of €750 billion. The funds under “Next Generation EU” will be granted to Member States either in the form of grants (€500 billion) or in the form of loans (€250 billion) repayable in the very long term (between 2028 and 2058). They will go mainly to the countries most affected by the pandemic. 

Commission updated 2020 work programme
As part of its “Europe’s Recovery” package, the European Commission has published an adjusted version its Work Programme for 2020, refocusing its work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and “prioritising” the actions needed. You can find here an infograhic, with the key priorities for FESI’s steering committees.

Commission's report on COVID impact on trade
The European Commission published a second report on impact of coronavirus on EU trade (29/05): For the EU27, the predicted reduction is expected to be between 9% and 15% for exports, and 11% and 14% for imports from non-EU countries (goods and services combined). This amounts to a reduction in extra-EU27 exports between €282 and €470 billion and a decrease in extra-EU27 imports between €313 and €398 billion.

Future German presidency programme
The German Presidency, which will start on 1st July (for 6 months) has announced that overcoming the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on the imminent new MFF and recovery instrument, will be one of the top priorities. The official website of the future German Presidency is now online.

FESI events:
  • 23 June 2020: FESI CR steering committee webinar. Agenda here
  • 2 July 2020: FESI board meeting (online). Agenda here
  • 1 and 2 December 2020: FESI General Assembly
Institutional events:
  • 17 June: OECD Global Forum on Responsible Business Conduct 2/2
  • 1st July 2020: German Presidency of the EU. Draft trio presidency programme
  • 6 and 7 October 2020: High level stakeholder conference under the German presidency on due diligence
Policy deadlines:
  • 23 June 2020: deadline to respond to the public consultation on the 2030 Climate Target Plan
  • 2021: Textile Strategy
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