Brussels, 29 April 2014
EU Corporate Social Responsibility policy: The Commission seeks stakeholders’ views on achievements and future challenges
The Commission is seeking stakeholders’ views about the impact of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy over the past three years and on the role it should play in the future. The Commission's 2011-14 CSR Strategy set an ambitious agenda to strengthen its implementation at international level and created a number of models on how to practically implement its principles (MEMO/11/730). More and more CSR is becoming a valuable tool to improve a company's competitiveness: encouraging social and environmental responsibility in the corporate sector can also bring benefits in terms of cost reductions, access to capital, improved customer relationships, human resource management and innovation capacity. Amongst others, the consultation that the Commission is launching asks for concrete feedback on how successful the Commission’s actions have been in enhancing market reward for CSR, further integrating CSR in education, training and research and better aligning European and global approaches to CSR avoiding red tape in particular for SMEs. An on-line questionnaire was launched today and will be open for contributions until 15 August.
European Commissioner Michel Barnier, Acting Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "CSR is not just about protecting stakeholders or the value of an enterprise through compliance with ethical or other standards. It is also, and increasingly, about creating new value through the innovation that comes from challenging a company’s status quo and looking for better solutions. We look forward to receiving stakeholders’ valuable feedback on our CSR agenda and on their expectations for the future.”
To the consultation:
Identifying the achievements, shortcomings and future challenges in EU CSR policy
At the end of 2014, the Commission’s current policy on Corporate Social Responsibility will phase out. The 2011 CSR Communication was an important milestone. Not only did it provided a modernised definition of CSR as the “responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society”, but it further set out the expectation that companies should have a process to integrate social, environmental, ethical, human rights and consumer concerns into their business operations and core strategy in close cooperation with their stakeholders. Furthermore, it made clear that the development of CSR should be led by enterprises themselves.
The substantive questions of this consultation are divided into three parts:
1. Feedback on the role of the Commission in CSR: The role of the Commission and the identification of the key actors.
2. Feedback on the Commission’s agenda for action: The responses shall indicate to what extent the Commission’s actions were successful and whether policy initiatives have had an important influence on CSR. The eight work streams include:
3. Future issues on CSR: Questions on what stakeholders believe the future role of the Commission in CSR should be, what the main challenges for an EU policy on CSR are and how they would rank the importance of CSR for the future of EU economy.
The Commission will publish a technical report on the results of the consultation after the summer. Further, the Commission will draw on the consultation’s outputs when preparing the plenary meeting of the CSR Multistakeholder Forum, which is scheduled for the end of this year. The Forum is hosted and facilitated by the Commission and gathers relevant stakeholders, including business, trade unions, non-governmental organisations, academia and other organisations, to discuss key topics relating to CSR. This year’s Multistakeholder Forum will be a review meeting to prepare the future direction of the Commission’s CSR policy post-2014.
For more information
Link to CSR website
Link to CSR strategy