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Meeting on Multi-stakeholder CSR platforms in relevant business sectors at DG Enterprise and Industry

 Since its communication on CSR in October 2011, the Commission is now putting in place some initiatives outlined in the document (see in this regard the Secretariat note of 10th November 2011). One of the actions proposed was “to create in 2013 multi-stakeholder CSR platforms in a number of relevant industrial sectors to make public commitments on the CSR issues relevant to each sector and jointly monitor progress”. In order to increase public recognition on companies’ activities in the field of CSR, the Commission aims to disseminate good practice, to foster peer learning and to encourage more companies to develop their own strategic approaches to CSR.

 During the meeting, participants were informed that the Commission wishes to put a particular focus on sectoral approaches and on the diffusion of responsible business conduct through the supply chain. In this regard, its intention is to support the creation of those platforms with the involvement of all relevant stakeholders and therefore not only social partners but as well single companies, NGO’s etc. The outcome of those platforms should be, amongst others, the adoption of joint commitments to address CSR challenges. The following sectors had expressed their interest in establishing multi-stakeholder platforms on a voluntary basis: pharmaceutical, internet, agro-food supply chain and tourism.

 The EFCI, together with other employer associations, expressed its serious doubts about this initiative by particularly stressing that such an initiative should be initiated by companies (bottom-up) and not imposed by the Commission. Furthermore, it stressed the need to clarify the interference with the activities of the existing sectoral social dialogue Committees in 40 sectors. The Commission representatives responded that the initiative was purely based on a voluntary basis and that no sector is forced to engage in the initiative.