Report on strategic cooperation

Event: stronger coordination at EU level needed

The Textile Partnership Secretariat and the secretariat of the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile (AGT) jointly organised an event entitled ‘Promoting responsible business conduct and due diligence in the EU textile and garment sector’ on 4 June in Brussels. The objective of the event was to stimulate a debate on increasing coordination of national approaches to promoting corporate due diligence in the textile sector at EU level.

Some 80 representatives of the European Parliament, the European Commission, governments of the EU member states, international companies, European business associations, non-governmental organisations and standards organisations took part in the event. After the Textile Partnership and AGT were introduced, the representatives of the European Commission (GROW Directorate General), of the European Parliament, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), C&A and IndustriALL Europe discussed the opportunities and challenges of stronger coordination at EU level.

There was consensus about the need for stronger coordination in order to achieve ongoing and systemic improvements in the production countries and prevent distortion of competition on the EU market. The participants also agreed that the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector should be the basis for coordination at EU level. However, opinions differed when it came to how this should be achieved. While some panel discussion participants called for legal regulations on corporate due diligence in the textile sector at EU level, other participants argued in favour of incrementally harmonising the approaches of existing national initiatives under the leadership of the European Commission.

To find out more about the event, please contact Andreas Edele (andreas.edele@giz.de).