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Corporate Social Responsibility Policy in the EU: Issues of legitimacy, Representation and Political Competition

Jenny Fairbrass

This paper examines the development of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy in the EU since 2001. During the period of time that has passed since the 2001 Green Paper on CSR, the EU has subsequently published a number of policy papers and hosted a number of consultation events and exercises as part of the deliberations in developing the policy. Critically, the main participants in the deliberations are typically well-resourced interest organisations (rather than individual citizens) and, crucially, the outcomes of the deliberations appear to bear striking similarity to the objectives of the dominant interest organisations: namely business interests. Accordingly, this paper seeks to address questions about the quality of democracy in the EU, the legitimacy of the deliberations reviewed, the degree of representativeness of the participants, and the character of the political competition within the polity.

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