Parliament dumps compromise proposal, the public will have final say on initiative

04.06.2020

A conciliation committee recommended a fig leaf proposal for approval by parliament. Multinationals such as Glencore or Syngenta would not be held responsible for damages they cause, they could simply publish a yearly report on glossy paper.

After almost three years of discussions, the multinational corporations’ lobbyists have won the day in parliament. For a long time, the National Council supported an indirect counter-proposal that would have led to a withdrawal of the initiative. Meanwhile, the Council of States voted in favor of a fig-leaf-like counter-proposal that had been introduced by the Federal Council. A conciliation committee, made up of members of the National Council and of the Council of States, had to come to a final compromise, as the two Councils had not been able to agree on a common proposal. On 4 June, in the 2020 summer session, the conciliation committee recommended the fig leaf proposal for approval by parliament. In the end, the two Councils supported the fig-leaf-like counter-proposal. Multinationals such as Glencore or Syngenta would not be held responsible for damages they cause, they could simply publish a yearly report on glossy paper.
The Responsible Business Initiative will be put before the public for a vote on 29 November 2020.

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