The Government and Civil Society roles in the CSR: the case of Poland
Meetings and Proceedings
Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei
Taking for granted that a joint action of all actors of the society is necessary to ensure sustainable development and human rights protection universally, and that State and civil society roles not only complement each other, but often overlap, this paper attempts to define the roles of the State and civil society in the area of CSR, focusing on Poland as a case study. The role of State with regards to CSR is approached from a human rights perspective. States are not only obliged to ensure that appropriate legislation protecting human rights from abuse by business, is in place and is enforced, but also have an explicit duty under ratified treaties to promote human rights. The author argues that promoting CSR should be viewed as a way of contributing to a better realization and respect for human rights and therefore constitutes part of a State’s obligations. Finally, the author provides a number of suggestions regarding State policies, strategy,‘leading by example’ approach and relevant institutional frameworks, which aim at encouraging CSR practices among companies and involve civil society organisations. These, due to their very nature and purpose, could be a State’s natural ally in this quest, particularly in the area of multi-stakeholder engagement, ensuring mechanisms of verification and raising awareness.
CORE is financed by the European Commission, Sixth Framework Programme and it is coordinated by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
Paper presented at the Third Core Conference: The potential of CSR to drive integration in an enlarged Europe held in Nottingham, June 19-20, 2008