The members of the European Association of Cooperative Banks (EACB) have been following the Commission’s initiative on sustainable corporate governance since its publication in 2020 and the corresponding activities on these topics in the European Parliament.
The Commission’s Proposal for a Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence explicitly includes credit institutions and financial products in the scope, therefore represents a crucial regulatory development for the members of the EACB.
We support the European Commission and the European Parliament objectives, in particular respect for human rights and the environment, in line with the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We find it important to harmonize corporate sustainability due diligence at the EU level to ensure a level playing field.
Our members – established as cooperatives in their legal form - are by nature fully engaged to support the local economy and the interests of the local society, foster solidarity and to emphasize the common good of society, with a long-term vision, social inclusion, and sustainable development as key values when it comes to approach to business. We are thus concerned especially by undue administrative burden imposed on companies and credit institutions and practical limitations by certain policy choices and the potential repercussions on the business relationships as well as on the litigation practices. Moreover, we notice that number of crucial provisions of the proposal is ambiguous and leaves room for various interpretation. This could lead to problems of legal uncertainty, risk of litigation and diverging transposition of the Directive.
We kindly invite you to look into the paper below for our key messages on this topic.