The National Council decided today to accept the counter-proposal to the Responsible Business Initiative.
Widely supported, this counter-proposal represents a compromise between the initiators, the forces of parliament and those of the economy. For example, constructive discussions were held by the initiators with the Groupement des Entreprises Multinationales (GEM). Some economic circles, such as the GEM or Migros, support the counter-proposal approved today.
From the point of view of the initiators, this compromise contains difficult concessions: it concerns only very large companies and civil liability provisions are severely restricted. The initiative committee had, however, committed to withdraw the initiative if the text discussed today was approved. Indeed, the current counter-proposal allows a quicker implementation than in the case of a popular vote, and therefore represents a positive point for the victims of human rights violations committed by Swiss multinationals.
However, today’s decision does not mark the end of the process. The Council of States still has to make a decision on the text in a next stage.
Chantal Peyer, member of the initiative committee, comments on this decision: “The National Council’s acceptance today opens the way to a compromise. Although it contains difficult concessions, it would allow a quicker implementation than in the case of a popular vote. It is now up to the Council of States to decide.”