Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock issued a statement today (7 February) on Germany’s position regarding the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive:
Europe must be able to rely on Germany – especially in these times. Germany’s voice carries weight in the EU and we bear responsibility for Europe. If we break our word after having pledged our support in Brussels, we risk losing the trust placed in us. The fact that Germany may now abstain at the last minute despite having already given our backing to the directive will damage our reliability as a partner and our clout in Europe. It would be a mistake to gamble away valuable trust with such manoeuvres in Brussels.
When we negotiate and agree on a directive at European level in close coordination between the Council of the EU, the European Parliament and the European Commission over the course of several months, then we have to stand by our word once agreement has been reached. That applies especially when the EU Council Presidency in trilogue with the European Parliament has managed to push through the points of crucial importance to us. We cannot afford to flip-flop in this manner again, for it shows a lack of respect towards other EU member states as well as towards the European Parliament.
It is also important in economic terms that we not only have a national due diligence act but also a European directive. After all, we have a single market in the European Union. Furthermore, it is in the interest of German businesses that we have standardised rules and fair competition in Europe rather than making their lives difficult with a patchwork of national regulations.
We can only set global standards using our market power if we in Europe act as one. We cannot achieve that if every member state does its own thing.