The European Union and CSR

The European Union is a community of States founded on an economic and social project and a shared set of values.

It was therefore only natural for the EU to take an interest in and formulate a policy for Corporate Social Responsibility.

The first stone in the edifice was laid with a Green Paper promoting a European framework for Corporate Social Responsibility, published in 2001 by the European Commission.

This was followed by three Communications, the latest of which, published on 25 October 2011, sets out an in-depth revision of Europe’s thinking on the subject: CSR is seen as one of the means of accomplishing the 2020 inclusive growth strategy and Member States are invited to play a key role in establishing frameworks for its promotion. CSR is defined as "the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society" in all the areas identified by the main international standards, ISO 26000 in particular.

The French government has taken a close interest in this work from the outset, and has given its constant support to the European Commission and to the MEPs engaged in it. On taking over the rotating presidency of the EU Council in the second half of 2008, France organised a number of major events to renew the momentum of flagging European reflection on the subject. In addition, France has always stood ready to offer its assistance to any Member States requesting it during their own presidency, thereby contributing to the development of the common thinking most notably reflected in the 3rd Communication.

Flash Eurobarometer 363 : How companies influence our society : citizens’ view (PDF)

Updated on: 15.11.12