‘Social business’ package creates concern among entrepreneurs
By Sophie Mosca | Friday 28 October 2011
European businesses do not appreciate the binding measures of the ‘social business’ package proposed by the European Commission, on 25 October, to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR), cut red tape for small companies and improve the transparency of listed companies.
BusinessEurope, which represents their interests, praises the fact that the strategy gives them latitude to innovate and develop an approach to CSR suited to their situation. This is one of the demands it made during debates on the initiative.
On the other hand, it considers contradictory with this approach a number of measures imposed by regulatory means. It would prefer voluntary actions. BusinessEurope regrets first the obligations imposed on companies by the accounting directives to disclose non-financial information.
It also rejects the call for European companies to respect, by 2014, when developing their strategy on corporate social responsibility, the ILO tripartite declaration of principles concerning multinational enterprises and social policy.
Lastly, it is critical of the establishment of sector CSR platforms through which companies will have to make public commitments on corporate social responsibility in collaboration with stakeholders.
BusinessEurope would have preferred a commitment to promote the adoption of responsible behaviour, with objectives for 2015 and 2020, or the drafting of a code of conduct for self-regulation of CSR instruments based on criteria accepted on a voluntary basis.