Social Europe & Jobs Archives

  • Health expenditure & economy

    Health 19-05-2006

    In an ageing Europe, a healthy society and active workforce will be key determinants of sustainable productivity and economic growth and thus key conditions for the EU's Lisbon Agenda to deliver. Human capital has for long been recognised as a contributor to economic wealth, but it is forgotten that people can only accumulate and provide human capital if they are healthy, both physically and mentally. Far too often politics consider health as a cost and not as long-term investment in human capital.

  • CSR – Workplace [Archived]


    Recent events have placed Workplace issues high on the list of concerns to the public, and therefore politicians. For example, Marks and Spencer's decision to shut down its continental European operations and the outcry that it produced was a powerful argument in favour of a Europe-wide framework for promoting more socially responsible behaviour by companies on workplace issues.

  • CSR – Socially Responsible Investment [Archived]


    In recent years, Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) has experienced a strong surge in popularity among investors. SRI indicates that the investor takes on a broad responsibility for social concerns such as social justice, human rights and a healthy environment. A term also used is "Triple Bottomline Investments", which derives from the factors used when assessing a company's performance on sustainable development: economic, social and environmental.

  • Corporate Governance


    In the wake of major corporate financing and accounting scandals in the United States, the European Commission, as part of its new regulatory framework for company law, has stepped up its efforts to make corporate affairs more transparent and give the concept of 'corporate governance' tangible substance. In May 2003, the Commission put forward its plans in an Action Plan on ‘Modernising Company Law and Enhancing Corporate Governance in the European Union – a plan to move forward’.

  • Entrepreneurship in Europe


    The Commission in February 2004 published an Action Plan on Entrepreneurship, which focuses on actions in five policy areas: entrepreneurial mindsets, incentives for entrepreneurs, competitiveness & growth, access to finance and cutting red tape.

  • CSR – Reporting and Auditing [Archived]


    The triple-bottom line approach to CSR reporting refers to the use of economic, environmental and social factors in the assessment of a company's performance. In reporting and auditing, the economic assessment is well addressed and, increasingly, so is the environmental. However, the social aspect has until recently been almost completely ignored. There are a number of national, European and international initiatives aimed at redressing this imbalance.

  • Sustainable trade


    Sustainable trade implies a trading system that does not harm the environment or deteriorate social conditions while promoting economical growth.

  • Accountability of NGOs

    Public Affairs 27-10-2003

    This LinksDossier covers the increasing demand
    for greater accountability of civil society interest groups
    that influence EU policy-making.

  • CSR & EU [Archived]


    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an increasingly important topic in the EU. In 2001, the Commission issued a Green Paper on CSR, which was followed by a Communication in July 2002. The debate among the stakeholders tends to focus on voluntary versus mandatory measures.

  • CSR – Social Labelling [Archived]


    Social labels allow consumers to make decisions about which products to purchase on the basis of ethical considerations. It is becoming increasingly evident that a growing number of consumers view this as an important factor when making purchases. The Commission has said that its research into this matter indicates that European consumers are particularly concerned that the health, safety and human rights of workers are protected and respected. Companies have also become increasingly more aware of the potential benefits of communicating through labels their socially responsible way of operating.

  • CSR – Human Rights [Archived]


    The recent trend that of including human rights commitments in corporate principles is the product of both negative and positive factors. On the negative side, the targeting of large multinationals by civil society groups in the form of consumer boycotts, online campaigns or local protests have been influential in forcing companies to act. On the positive side, there has also been a realisation by the companies themselves that by acting to protect and promote human rights they benefit in terms of positive corporate reputation, improved employee satisfaction and community relations.