Action point 17

Advocate for strengthening the integration of sustainable development (including human rights) in free trade agreements

Plaider au niveau de la Belgique pour le renforcement de l’intégration du développement durable (y compris des droits de l’Homme) dans les accords de libre échange

This point explains that free trade agreement negotiations at the EU-level have presented several objectives, including the maximization of transparency and impact assessments on sustainable development.

The NAP states that, within EU Council negotiations, the aim of Belgium is to insist on carrying out impact assessments on sustainable development in order to map the economic, social and environmental impact of potential trade agreements, both for the European Union and for the countries with which negotiations on a free trade agreement are under way.

  • The Flemish government furthers that in addition to “sustainable impact assessments”, they will also urge the EU to engage with “human rights impact assessments”, and that such an impact assessment is made within each free trade negotiation.
  • The region of Brussels will ensure that a HRIA has been carried out before any ratification of investment and trade agreements, and that any major negative impact on the respect, protection and promotion of human rights has not been detected in third-party countries.

Action point 15

Incorporate the principle of “due diligence” into the management of the company, also in the terms of human rights

Intégrer le principe de « diligence raisonnable » au sein des organismes de gestion de l’entreprise, également en matière de droits de l’Homme

The NAP briefly mentions that the integration of the “due diligence” obligation for companies (as covered by the EU directive 2014/95/EU) will ensure better business continuity, and optimize relationships with local communities and workers, through a clear commitment and ongoing dialogue about the impact of their activities.