Corporate social responsibility in the European Union: A new trade barrier?

This source preferred by Tim Breitbarth

Authors: Breitbarth, T., Harris, P. and Aitken, R.

Journal: Journal of Public Affairs

Volume: 9

Pages: 239-255

ISSN: 1472-3891

DOI: 10.1002/pa.333

This paper contributes to the discussion about Corporate social responsibility (CSR), competitiveness and trade policies, and how trade barriers emerge between countries already committed to CSR and those for whom CSR is still gaining ground. The authors describe the development of CSR within Europe and explain its role in shaping trade relationships. Gaining access to the European market, and obtaining the ‘licence to operate’ in light of strengthening commitment to CSR, is an issue for many companies. For countries outside the EU it is important to understand what CSR means in the European context and to recognize its implications for conducting business in the region. Further, through its economic power and resources, the EU sets standards and influences international trade norms. The authors conclude that the EU establishes CSR as a trade barrier for non-complying companies in the terms of organizational culture, communication, capabilities and compliance.

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Authors: Breitbarth, T., Harris, P. and Aitken, R.

Journal: Journal of Public Affairs

Volume: 9

Issue: 4

Pages: 239-255

eISSN: 1479-1854

ISSN: 1472-3891

DOI: 10.1002/pa.333

This paper contributes to the discussion about Corporate social responsibility (CSR), competitiveness and trade policies, and how trade barriers emerge between countries already committed to CSR and those for whom CSR is still gaining ground. The authors describe the development of CSR within Europe and explain its role in shaping trade relationships. Gaining access to the European market, and obtaining the 'licence to operate' in light of strengthening commitment to CSR, is an issue for many companies. For countries outside the EU it is important to understand what CSR means in the European context and to recognize its implications for conducting business in the region. Further, through its economic power and resources, the EU sets standards and influences international trade norms. The authors conclude that the EU establishes CSR as a trade barrier for non-complying companies in the terms of organizational culture, communication, capabilities and compliance. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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