Press releases

EU reaches agreement on Sustainability Due Diligence

European Union flag against European Parliament
European Union flags in front of the blurred European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium Photo by artjazz on Adobe Stock.

The European Union (EU) took a significant stride towards enhancing corporate accountability with the endorsement of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) by the Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council (Coreper). This landmark achievement follows a setback on February 28th, 2024, when Coreper initially faced challenges in securing a qualified majority for the directive’s approval. However, today’s success signals a pivotal advancement in the legislative process, clearing the path for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to deliberate and potentially ratify the agreed-upon text. MEPs are now tasked with finalizing the approval process during the upcoming Plenary session scheduled for April.

Under the leadership of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, concerted efforts were made to forge consensus and propel the CSDDD forward. The dedication of the Belgian Presidency has been instrumental in navigating the complexities of EU negotiations and achieving this significant milestone. The endorsement of the CSDDD underscores the EU’s commitment to fostering corporate responsibility and accountability, marking a crucial juncture in the pursuit of sustainable business practices across the region. 

However, despite the momentous achievement, the agreed-upon text reflects a notable dilution of the directive’s initial ambition. With the directive’s scope now limited to companies with over one thousand employees and certain high-risk sectors omitted entirely, concerns have been raised regarding the legislation’s efficacy in driving comprehensive due diligence practices. Nonetheless, the inclusion of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into EU law represents a significant step towards mandating environmental and human rights due diligence within corporate value chains.  


Jurei Yada, Programme Lead, Sustainable Finance at E3G said:

“Today’s decision marks the happy end to the story of the CSDDD vote in Council, which has been full of plot twists and drama. At stake was the establishment of stronger due diligence obligations to better protect the people and the environment, and we are now almost there in having that framework in Europe. That is cause for celebration.”

Pietro Cesaro, Policy Advisor, Sustainable Finance at E3G said:

“One of the trickiest challenges in the next EU steps is ensuring a harmonised approach in business practices. Due to political manoeuvring, we have risked losing this within the due diligence realm. Thanks to the Belgian presidency, we can now welcome this significant agreement, which, however, covers fewer companies, potentially jeopardising the competitiveness of those outside the scope.”

Available for comment

Pietro Cesaro, Policy Advisor, EU Sustainable Finance

m: +39 3495416186,

Notes to Editors

  1. E3G is an independent climate change think tank with a global outlook. We work on the frontier of the climate landscape, tackling the barriers and advancing the solutions to a safe climate. Our goal is to translate climate politics, economics and policies into action. About – E3G
  2. For further enquiries email
  3. E3G has been following the developments of the CSDDD over the past two years. For previous analysis and observations, please refer to:
  4. Why the EU’s Due Diligence Law must include the financial sector – E3G
  5. CSDDD vote in European Parliament: MEPs back people and the environment – E3G
  6. Securing Europe’s competitiveness in the low-carbon subsidy race – E3G


Subscribe to our newsletter