EU Competitiveness Council aims to reach a general approach on corporate social responsibility and the Chips Act
The EU competitiveness ministers will convene for the last Competitiveness Council meeting of the year in early December. At the internal market and industry meeting, the ministers aim to reach a general approach on corporate sustainability due diligence and the Chips Act. Meanwhile, the research and innovation meeting is expected to adopt conclusions on a new European innovation programme.
The Competitiveness Council will discuss internal market and industry issues on Thursday 1 December. Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen will represent Finland. Ann-Mari Kemell, State Secretary to Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä will represent Finland at the Council meeting on research, innovation and space matters on Friday 2 December.
Due diligence obligation would require companies to pay more attention to human rights and environmental impacts
In February, the European Commission published a proposal for a corporate sustainability due diligence directive. The purpose of the directive is to encourage companies to evaluate and manage the risks to human rights and the environment as well as their impacts in their operations and value chains.
“A key element of fair market rules is that business operations are ecologically sustainable and respectful of human rights. Consumers must be able to trust that they do not unknowingly, through their everyday choices, support exploitation of labour or environmental damage,” Minister of Employment Haatainen says.
The Competitiveness Council aims to adopt a general approach of the EU Member States. Several changes that correspond with Finland’s objectives were made to the proposal during the negotiations, and Finland supports the goal of reaching a general approach. It is not certain that a general approach will be reached as the ministers will still debate the matter at the meeting.
Supply of semiconductors must be ensured at EU level
In February, the Commission also issued a proposal for the Chips Act, which would strengthen the European semiconductor ecosystem, increase the production of chips in Europe and improve the EU’s competitiveness. Semiconductors are extremely important for the functioning of the modern economy and society.
The Competitiveness Council also aims to reach a general approach on the Chips Act. The latest compromise proposal concerning the content of the Act is in many respects in line with Finland’s key goals.
In the December meeting, the Competitiveness Council plans to reach a general approach on the geographical indication protection for craft and industrial products, to adopt conclusions on the European Agenda for Tourism 2030 and discuss the progress of the ecodesign regulation. Meanwhile, the meeting of research and innovation ministers will adopt conclusions on research infrastructures and a new European innovation programme. The ministers responsible for space will discuss the EU space data exploitation.
Taru Löyttymäki, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 177
Leila Vilhunen, Adviser to Minister of Employment (EU and international affairs), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 120