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Presentation on theme: "T OWARDS A E UROPEAN F RAMEWORK FOR CSR P ARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN C OMPANIES AND C ITIZENS O RGANIZATIONS Giovanni Moro FONDACA – Active Citizenship Foundation."— Presentation transcript:

1 T OWARDS A E UROPEAN F RAMEWORK FOR CSR P ARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN C OMPANIES AND C ITIZENS O RGANIZATIONS Giovanni Moro FONDACA – Active Citizenship Foundation Politeia Forum, Milan, 14 September 2007

2 C ONTENT European paradoxes Partnerships as a key issue The Not Alone project The partnerships profile The essentials of studied partnerships Conclusions on the research Suggestions for guidelines coming from the consultation of the partners Developments: the Lisbon Minus 3 project 2 G. Moro, 14 Sept 2007

3 E UROPEAN PARADOXES … First paradox: it does exist a European dimension on CSR discourse, but not a European dimension of responsible companies Main CSR actions take place a t local level and at global level (900 European and only 100 US companies are members of the UN Global Compact) Some Absence indicators: Among the members of the EC Multistakeholder Forum only 6 out of 54 were entrepreneurs European companies are rarely co-funders of EC supported projects Companies Brussels offices are usually engaged in PR and lobbying activities only Often US multinationals have their offices on Europe in the USA 3 G. Moro, 14 Sept 2007

4 E UROPEAN PARADOXES … Second paradox: The EU is a market, but seems unable to give place to CSR processes What do companies do with the European Union? They ask protection against unfair competition (China, - the revenge of globalization) They use it as a battlefield among national interests (banks, energy, etc.) At the best, they seem consider it as a framework of transnational initiatives Summarizing: they seem considering the EU either as a open internal market or a protected market, but not as a real single market 4 G. Moro, 14 Sept 2007

5 E UROPEAN P ARADOXES Third paradox: consumer-citizens are European, but not the companies; consumer-citizens are cross-border, but not the companies A possible vitious circle: companies are far from the European dimension because of its weakness; but it will remain weak without the support of companies. How to deal with: promoting a EU framework for CSR based on concrete practices of companies and their stakeholders 5 G. Moro, 14 Sept 2007

6 P ARTNERSHIP AS A KEY ISSUE Partnerships with Autonomous Citizens Organizations (ACOs) at national level a relevant source for this framework Partnerships: actors coming from different sectors share objectives, resources, responsibilities and risks to achieve common interest results that no one of the actors could do by alone. It is one of the most challenging CSR activities because of the close link between companies and stakeholders. After the failure of Multistakeholder Forum, the EC has called companies and their stakeholders for partnerships, but without any further specification. 6 G. Moro, 14 Sept 2007

7 T HE N OT A LONE P ROJECT The FONDACA research on partnership (developing the Zadek and Copenhagen Centre model) involving autonomous citizens organizations (ACOs) partnering with the public sector and private companies The Active Citizenship Network policy on European active citizenship The research: FONDACA, Active Citizenship Network and national partners Between July 2005 and June 2006 36 success partnerships in 8 countries (Austria, Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, United Kingdom) analyzed A questionnaire submitted to representatives of the both parts Focus on: Basis of p. Management of p. Evolution of p. P. effects Definition of a European partnership profile Suggestions for European guidelines based on experience 7 G. Moro, 14 Sept 2007

8 P ARTNERSHIPS PROFILE Projects developed through partnerships are primarily: aimed at tackling welfare and environmental concerns, as well as promoting the empowerment of young people; developed at the national, less at the local, and not at the European level; medium or long term; managed by marketing departments or public relations offices (for companies) and by the entire organization (for ACOs); either of a value of less than 50,000 or more than 500,000 supported by other investors. 8 G. Moro, 14 Sept 2007

9 P ARTNERSHIPS PROFILE / 2 In general, studied partnerships are: between companies that have a CSR strategy and ACOs that are more focused on promoting concrete gains for communities, and which have the main common goal to address societal problems; stable and flexible relationships between one company and one organization, that have already been involved in prior collaborations and which have been started with neither the participation of second-degree structures, nor the support of external intermediaries; equal relationships, where rights and responsibilities are defined and decision making process, as well as responsibilities, are shared, but where ACOs face more internal resistances in partnering with business; relations guaranteed by formal technical and juridical tools and managed with a high level of personal relations; characterized, on the one hand by internal communication tools which imply more personal rather than interpersonal relations and, on the other, by external tools, which are primarily specific rather than general (as social reports); 9 G. Moro, 14 Sept 2007

10 P ARTNERSHIPS PROFILE / 3 with a minor involvement of the intended beneficiaries in the decision making process; more about human than financial resources invested by both sides; decided and represented by senior management; facilitated by both partners communication or public relations departments; evaluated more by companies, often separately; positively evolving relationships - with no significant obstacles or conflicts - which are managed through communication and mutual recognition; relationships that create more internal and less mutual benefits, increase competencies (relational and operational) and generate many unexpected positive impacts, primarily linked to strengthening partners cooperation. 10 G. Moro, 14 Sept 2007

11 T HE ESSENTIALS OF STUDIED PARTNERSHIPS At the core business (direct impact on identity and value of actors and managed at the top level) Coming from prior relations Not yet an ordinary activity Flexibility, formality and personal relations Trend to equality Investment of human rather financial resources Long-term, stable relationship Added value and incremental character (they tend to grow thanks to their own development) 11 G. Moro, 14 Sept 2007

12 C ONCLUSIONS ON THE RESEARCH Partnerships as CSR technologies: On the companies side: linking companies and stakeholders in a common framework able to generate a significant impact inside companies and in their reputation, and to enrich their identity, thus increasing their value. On the stakeholders side: enhance the awareness of their role and their ability to interact with companies, thus overcoming prejudices and standard views and constructively challenging companies to take corporate social responsibility seriously. Ambiguities and risks: Actors reluctant to report conflicts Actors reluctant to report power divide situations Lack of involvement of intended beneficiaries Risk of a prevailing paradoxical sense of self-sufficiency and a self-referential attitude of partnerships 12 G. Moro, 14 Sept 2007

13 P ARTNERS SUGGESTIONS ON GUIDELINES Partnerships bases: Relational: transparency, integrity; mutual trust and respect; compatibility btw visions and values; enthusiasm and trust in achieving the goals Operational: fair selection and evaluation of partners Bulding of partnership Relational aspects: understanding the partners differences and specific needs; commitment of both partners Managerial aspects: clear and shared objectives from the beginning; clear rules on development and management of p.; avoid too much bureaucracy Management of partnerships: Relational aspects: dialogue and communication Operational aspects: professional behavior and competencies; long term p.; ogoing redefinition of rules; respect of agreements, accountability. 13 G. Moro, 14 Sept 2007

14 D EVELOPMENTS The Lisbon Minus 3 project A Partnership Evaluation Matrix, built on the base of the results of the Not Alone project Tested in 10 EU countries by both sides of partnerships and by third parties (projects partner organizations) To be discussed, amended and validated in a Lisbon conference on 20 and 21 Sept. 2007 To be diffused and supported as a EU framework for the promotion of partnerships as a tool for the development of a stronger European basis for CSR 14 G. Moro, 14 Sept 2007


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