The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement
Edited By Jing Men and Giuseppe Balducci
This book will provide an up-to-date analysis of the problematic concerns, and the means to resolve these issues, that range from human rights, to international trade conflicts and climate change.
CHAPTER 3 The European Model of CSR and Labour Standards in China (Frauke S. Austermann) 81
81 CHAPTER 3 The European Model of CSR and Labour Standards in China Frauke S. AUSTERMANN China’s weight in the world economy is increasing at breathtaking speed. Consequently, it is pivotal that Chinese business is pursued in a sustainable way. In order to achieve this, the Chinese government increasingly focuses on long-term environmental and social develop- ment, and no longer exclusively on growth rates. 1 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a key tool in making businesses operate sustainably. It can be defined as “the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families, as well as of the local community and society at large.”2 Labour standards form a decisive part of CSR – they constitute a major issue within the Chinese economy as they are often insufficiently adhered to.3 The importance of CSR for the EU-China relationship is also growing, given the fact that it is included in the most recent sectoral dialogues between the EU and China, and is also considered as an “emerging issue at the European Chamber of Commerce in China.”4 However, since CSR has only recently emerged, it is crucial to research why and how it could 1 Victorien Wu, ‘Labor Relations in Focus: The PRC Government’s Effort to Better Protect Worker’s Rights Spring from Worries about China’s Social Stability,’ China Business Review, November-December 2006, p. 3. 2 World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), ‘Corporate Social Responsibility....
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