FANG Jiongsheng,LIU Shicheng:An Analysis of the Industrial Chain Responsibility Policy of the European Union: Reflection on the Justice of the Mandatory Jurisdiction of Sustainable Development Norms


Industrial chain responsibility is the transnational extension of corporate social responsibility agendas, such as environment and labor rights issues, in the context of global industrial chain. Under the influence of Green-left movements, the EU accepts and diffuses the concept of industrial chain responsibility, making it increasingly discernible on the international arena, and in this way contributes to global sustainable development. However, the EU has recently elevated the industrial chain responsibility norm from that of a “soft law” to a transnational mandatory jurisdiction policy, the overall impact of which still remains to be seen. A historical materialist examination suggests that the industrial chain responsibility is supposed to include the dual goals of sustainability and justice. Only by narrowing the “development gap” between the developed and developing countries, can the disparities in the effectiveness of global environment and labor rights governance be bridged. However, it is doubtful whether the unilaterally formulated mandatory policies could play a role in achieving the goal of justice. Ultimately, the governance of industrial chain responsibility requires the construction of a framework for joint responsibility-taking under the guidance of two principles, that is, the principle of multilateralism among governments and that of support and compensation among enterprises. Both China and the EU can play crucial roles in the governance of industrial chain responsibility. It is necessary for both sides to grasp the convergence trend in their norms and jointly contribute to the sustainable development of mankind.