On 09 December, the German Employment and Social Affairs Employment Minister, Hubertus Heil (SPD), announced during an interview that he, along with his Economic Cooperation and Development colleague, Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) were formulating draft legislation on supply chains (Lieferkettengesetz) that would require German businesses operating internationally to guarantee that their supply chain partners complied with environmental and social standards. If the legislation is adopted then it will mark a turning point in German government policy, which hitherto had primarily focused on the voluntary nature of businesses commitments to environmental and social responsibilities (ESR). However the government is also looking to a Europe-wide solution and intends to prioritize European regulation over supply chains during its six-month EU Council Presidency period that will commence on 01 July 2020.
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