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EU, China discuss closer ties on Corporate Social Responsibility

12-07-06—BEIJING  Senior officials from the EU and China met to discuss corporate social responsibility at the EU-China CSR Symposium in Beijing today, marking the first in a series of technical cooperation activities on CSR.
The globalisation process is sharpening the focus of governments, businesses and consumers around the world on social and environmental standards.
This symposium, addressed by Heinz Zourek, European Commission Director General for Enterprise and Industry, and Vice Chairman Madame Ou Xinqian, National Reform and Development Commission, examined new policies and developments on CSR issues in Europe and China.
“For individual enterprises, CSR can be important because it can be part of a formula for greater competitiveness,” Zourek said. For society at large, he said, “CSR can help us better reconcile our sometimes competing economic, social and environmental ambitions”.
He highlighted that CSR in Europe covers both social and environmental issues. “It is all about how enterprises relate to their stakeholders, taking into account the legitimate concerns of employees, customers, business partners, civil society and the local community.” 
“CSR is about the integration of social and environmental concerns into business operations. It is not an additional set of activities distinct from the day-to-day operations of an enterprise,” Zourek added. He further highlighted that in the European context CSR is voluntary in nature.
In March this year the EU released a new CSR policy placing CSR in a central position within the European Strategy for Growth and Jobs and encouraging the contribution of enterprises to public policy objectives on sustainable development.
This growing EU and international interest in CSR is complemented by the growing focus of Chinese policy makers on improving domestic social and environmental standards and further integrating Chinese business into the world trading system. The new Chinese Five-Year Programme, also released in March this year, emphasises the focus of the Chinese government on promoting a people-centered and environment-friendly approach to development. 
For more information on the European Union and the European Commission, please contact the Press Office of the European Commission Delegation to China Mr. Michael Jennings at +86 13911603579, email: michael.jennings@ec.europa.eu or Ms. Zhong Na, at +86 13501087209, email: na.zhong"ec.europa.eu.

For more information about the conference, please visit: http://euchinawto.org/en/view_cmpt05.asp?iID=156