Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe
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Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe

Rhetoric and Realities

Edited by Regine Barth and Franziska Wolff

The acid test of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is simply this: does it lead to positive impacts on society and the environment or is it just rhetoric? And if it does lead to positive impacts, how can these be enhanced? This timely book tackles this cutting-edge challenge by presenting empirical findings from a range of surveys and in-depth case studies. These build on a new methodological and theoretical framework for assessing and explaining the sustainability impact of CSR.
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Chapter 16: Striking Oil? CSR and the EU Integration Processes: The Example of Hungary

Tamás Pálvölgyi, Noémi Csigéné Nagypál, János Szlávik, Mária Csete and Hajnalka Csáfor


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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