Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Verheugen rules out change

March 2009

Corporate responsibility regulations will not be imposed by the European Commission despite waning public faith in business as a result of the recession.

Gunter Verheugen, who holds the CSR brief as the Commission’s vice-president responsible for enterprise and industry, said last month that companies will have a huge task to ‘rebuild trust’ lost during the financial crisis.

However, he repeated that he will not try to accelerate that process by introducing Europe-wide regulations on responsible business behaviour. ‘I believe that CSR should remain a voluntary concept, and I will not make any proposals that would risk undermining that principle,’ he said.

Verheugen told the Commission’s CSR multi-stakeholder forum in Brussels that he was confident the voluntary approach would deliver results even in tougher economic times. ‘The financial turmoil has revealed to us an unexpected degree of selfishness and greed existing in our society,’ he said. ‘This must be changed, but not by legislation, as ethical behaviour cannot be decreed by law.’

European Commission | Europe | Regulation


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