European Commission Multi-Stakeholder Forum on CSR

The European Commission holds its multi-stakeholder meeting to discuss corporate social responsibility on 3rd and 4th February 2015.  Businesses, civil society, trade unions, and governments are represented at the forum which is the last stage of a consultation leading to a new CSR strategy for 2015-20.

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Article
5 March 2015

Commentary: EU is risking stifling progress by focusing on voluntary measures on business & human rights

Author: Jerome Chaplier, European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ)

"European Forum on CSR: The old feuds are haunting the European Corporate Social Responsibility debate and stifling progress", 5 Mar 2015

Will we go back to the old feud between mandatory VS voluntary compliance that kept polarizing the debate on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? The discussions held in the last CSR Forum make us fear not just the status quo – but of the risk of going back 10 years in time....The calls for regulatory action were not just coming from NGOs. A Unilever representative rightly said that some issues can only be addressed through regulation...

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Report
19 February 2015

Executive summary of EU multi-stakeholder Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility

Across the two days and 12 panel discussions, close to one hundred policy ideas and suggestions were put forward by delegates.The Forum represents the final milestone of the EC's multi-stakeholder review process before the official drafting and adoption of a new strategy on CSR...Twelve parallel sessions provided key thoughts, concerns and policy suggestions for the EC's forthcoming communication. Panel sessions were held on several subsectors of CSR, including:

  • International Market Access
  • Education and Human Capital
  • SMEs
  • International Development Cooperation
  • Business and Human Rights
  • Public Procurement
  • Innovation, Competitiveness and Growth
  • Human Rights and Access to Remedies
  • Responsible Investment
  • Responsible Supply Chains
  • National and Regional Policies on CSR
  • Financial Institutions

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Article
11 February 2015

"EU must encourage responsible business", says MEP Richard Howitt

Author: Richard Howitt, Member of the European Parliament

[A] major theme of the forum was for Europe and European companies to implement global CSR initiatives, in particular the UN guiding principles on business and human rights, the OECD guidelines on multinational enterprise and the concept of 'integrated reporting...The danger of retreating to the polarisation of the past was evident with one NGO threatening a walk out if CSR actions were only voluntaristic, and one business association saying new legislation would 'kill off CSR'...In essence, this is about changing business culture away from the fatal short-termism of recent years, and supporting business to be genuinely sustainable in the long-term - for itself, for its people and for the planet.

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Article
5 February 2015

CSR Europe calls for new EU CSR strategy to emphasise innovation

Author: CSR Europe

"CSR Europe calls for the new EU CSR strategy 2015-2019 to support a move from CSR compliance to innovation", 

Supported by a movement of 40 CSR partners across Europe with a reach of up to 10,000 enterprises, key amongst the proposals put forward by CSR Europe was the necessity to move from ‘’compliance to innovation’’ in Europe’s future CSR strategy. In response to the European Commission 2014 public consultation on CSR, CSR Europe elaborated upon key proposals...

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Report
4 February 2015

Binding regulation is required to end conflict minerals trade, says NGO briefing

Author: Global Witness Amnesty International, SOMO and others

"A conflict minerals regulation that works", Feb 2015

The trade in natural resources fuels some of the world's most deadly conflicts and worst forms of human rights abuse...[C]ompanies must commit to sourcing and trading these resources responsibly. This is where the EU must show leadership by doing more to promote and support responsible sourcing in Europe...A narrow voluntary scheme is a backwards step that undermines international responsible sourcing standards...A key step...is a strong, binding regulation on responsible sourcing of conflict minerals. The Commission's proposed voluntary approach is not enough.

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Article
4 February 2015

NGOs call for human rights to be at heart new EU strategy on CSR

Author: ECCJ, Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth Europe

...The multi-dimensional nature of the debate on CSR provides a space to develop a systematic and holistic approach on business and human rights issues across and beyond the EU and to enhance the responsibility of business to respect and promote human rights. However, a strategy based mainly on voluntary commitments will not lead to significant improvements for people and the planet. The EC must step up its ambition and initiate the necessary legislative reforms to ensure businesses respect human rights and the environment in their operations...

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Item
4 February 2015

Video coverage of the Forum

Includes:

Opening Remarks with Pierre Delsaux - Deputy Director General, DG GROW, European Commission, and Richard Howitt - Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and EU CSR Rapporteur

Opening Plenary Session: "How can the EU strengthen cooperation and collaboration across stakeholders to achieve more impact in CSR?" with Marcela (Unilever), Mala Chakraborti (Atlas Copco AB), Arnaldo Abruzzini (Eurochambres), Audrey Gaughran (Amnesty International), and Joanna Drake (European Commission).

Parallel sessions on CSR and International Market Access; International Development Cooperation – Towards a global level playing field; and Plenary Session: European Policy on CSR – the Next Generation.

Full video

Article
4 February 2015

Webinar: Outcomes and results of the Multistakeholder Forum on CSR (19 Feb)

Author: CSR Europe

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Article
3 February 2015

"Europe must continue to lead on corporate social responsibility", says Richard Howitt MEP

Author: Richard Howitt, Member of the European Parliament, on EurActiv (Belgium)

"Europe must continue to lead on corporate social responsibility", 3 Feb 2015

Although Europe has led the way in the corporate social responsibility debate, according to MEP Richard Howitt, but it must now reshape the whole structure of remuneration across markets, to incorporate social and environmental goals.

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Article
3 February 2015

Forum programme

Author: European Commission

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