Business and NGOs clash on conclusions of final report of Multi Stakeholder Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility.
Fearing that they had lost ground following the adoption of the
report on the morning of the final plenary meeting, a group of NGOs
circulated an open letter to key EU decision-makers stating that a
“voluntary agreement between the stakeholders on corporate
responsibility without a common system for corporate accountability
is not enough to create the necessary EU framework for CSR” (see
The Commission’s definition of CSR, upon which the Stakeholder
Forum’s discussions were built, refers to CSR as a ‘voluntary’
integration of social and environmental considerations into
The NGO community has found that the report “does not go far
enough” and they wish to indicate this view in the report. While
the NGO side does not “dismiss the forum” its final report
demonstrates the “limited results of a limited process”, as one NGO
reperesentative has put it.
The NGOs wanted that the statements made at the final plenary,
which was the first chance to comment on the full report, be added
to the final summary.
After days of wrangling, a foreword has been included in the
report emphasising three main points. Firstly, that the report is a
“fair record of points of consensus”. Secondly, that “there are
some differences and debates that remain”. Thirdly, that the
speeches and statements made at the final plenary meeting of the
Forum can be accessed at the CSR websites of both DG Employment and
The final report, including the foreword, is now out, but an
asterisked footnote states that not all NGOs have been able to
endorse the text. NGO representatives have told EURACTIV that they
needed more time to consult their constituencies and that a meeting
has been scheduled for 14 July to agree a common approach within
the NGO community.