Saturday, 19 May 2007

CSR in New Europe: Challenges and Solutions

The beginning of 2007 marked the start of a new and first of this type regional project aimed at accelerating the implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices in new EU Member States and in candidate countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Slovak Republic and Turkey. Business networks in Spain, UK and Germany are also involved in the Project by contributing to exchange of experience and good CSR practices. The project is funded by the European Commission and United Nations Development Programme and is implemented in partnership with the local Global Compact nerworks Currently eight National Teams of Experts are finalizing the special surveys among all stakeholders in each project country. The surveys identify all actors and assess their engagement in promoting CSR; the level of government, civil sector and business engagement in CSR and collect examples of good practices, tools and recommendations for CSR. In Bulgaria the national report is prepared by Alpha Research agency. The report finds out that there is a very uneven spread of CSR practices across the various industries and sectors of economic activity. Its presence may be located predominantly in the extractives, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. In other industries such light industry, services, finance, etc., CSR is almost non-existent. CSR is to be found in large companies in those owned by EU-based capital, in local branches of multinational companies and in Bulgarian-owned companies with high market presence in the EU member states. These are also the main drivers for CSR promotion with the addition of a few Bulgarian NGOs and business organizations. Based on the national reports from the project countries a summarized European report will be presented at regional conference on 25-26 June 2007 in Brussels and discussed at two national forums in Bulgaria.

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