Rhetoric and Realities
Edited by Regine Barth and Franziska Wolff
Chapter 16: Striking Oil? CSR and the EU Integration Processes: The Example of Hungary
Tamás Pálvölgyi, Noémi Csigéné Nagypál, János Szlávik, Hajnalka Csáfor and Mária Csete 16.1 INTRODUCTION The integration of the European Union (EU) is a complex and ongoing socio-economic and political process which has the aim of ‘creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe’ (Art. 1, Treaty of the European Union). This process has been challenged by successive rounds of enlargement, that is, of the accession, tied to specific conditions,1 of new countries to the EU. The fifth round of enlargement in 2004 was special in the sense that it concerned formerly socialist countries, which meant that their integration into the Community went quasi hand in hand with their transformation to market economies. Along with the adoption of the EU’s body of common rights and obligations (acquis communautaire), the accession countries were called upon to introduce policies on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – a concept rather unfamiliar to businesses as well as stakeholders in the transformation economies. In this chapter we shall discuss how EU integration affects and interacts with the practice of CSR in the new EU Member States using the example of Hungary. More concretely, we shall address three research questions: what are the effects of EU accession and integration on the (social, political and economic) framework conditions in which CSR is practised? How does EU integration impact on the concrete CSR practices of companies, and what, in turn, are the effects of companies’ CSR activities on...
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