Brussels, 09 July 2002
Further research into corporate social responsibility, which aims to achieve a balance between the interests of business and those of wider society, can help Europe to become the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world, said EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin.
Speaking at the European Academy of corporate social responsibility on 6 July, Commissioner Busquin said that more research in the area, which could be funded under the 'Citizens and governance in the knowledge economy' priority of the Sixth Framework Programme for Research (FP6), may help the EU to reach the competitiveness goal it set at the Lisbon Summit of March 2000.
He said although research on corporate social responsibility would be challenging due to the lack of clear definition in this still-emerging discipline, quality research work could help to clarify the area and build a coherent European approach to it.
'Research, notably in applied social sciences, must help to build an approach to economic activity based on the values shared by Europeans and what we call the European model of society,' he explained.
He added that research on corporate social responsibility could also help to build cooperation between academia and business, already common in many scientific disciplines, in the area of applied economics.
Mr Busquin highlighted efforts currently being made to develop a coherent EU approach to corporate social responsibility, including a communication on this theme soon to be adopted by the Commission.
He said further research should aim to clarify the content and scope of corporate social responsibility and draw up an inventory of activities carried out in the area. Action should also be taken to draw up a list of problems where the concept of corporate social responsibility could be applied.
'A common research effort on the theme of corporate social responsibility can help place scientific knowledge even more firmly at the heart of the economy and the knowledge-based society in Europe,' Mr Busquin concluded.
For further information on Mr Busquin, please consult the following web address: http://europa.eu.int/comm/commissioners /busquin/new_en.html