Battleground Brussels: the EU and the regulation of multinationals

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Abstract

Who followed the news in recent weeks might get the impression that a change is afoot in attitudes towards multinational corporations. In the Netherlands, an environmental organization won a lawsuit against Shell, forcing it to start reducing its carbon emissions with immediate effect. Last month, the leaders of the G7, the world’s richest states, agreed on a global minimum corporate tax rate of fifteen percent, with the aim of stopping multinationals channelling profits away via tax havens. Recently, the European Commission announced new legislation to combat violations of human and environmental rights in the supply chains of multinationals. This wave of initiatives reflects a growing awareness of the impact that multinationals have on society and the environment. It also reflects a new vigour on the part of authorities to regulate multinationals where they failed or refused before. Why is it so difficult to regulate multinational corporations? And might it be different this time around? To find out, Koen van Zon takes a brief look into the history of the EU.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUtrecht University
Media of outputBlog
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2021

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