CSR in Central & Eastern Europe

Through this initiative UNIDO aimed at promoting the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility in Central and Eastern Europe.

Objectives of the initiative

  • Disseminating the concept of CSR and implementation practices throughout the CEE Region (focusing on small and medium sized enterprises), and
  • Forging a regional network of public and private partner institutions that will support SMEs to adopt CSR practices.

This initiative is to be understood as a progression of the first CSR project UNIDO conducted in the Region (Croatia).

Regional CSR Forum

The first UNIDO Regional Forum on CSR for Central and Eastern Europe was held in Zagreb, Croatia, on 9-10 March 2006. The event brought together top political leaders, business executives and experts, to launch a broad discussion on policy and company interventions.

Objectives of the forum:

  • Present and discuss the achievements of the Croatian CSR programme
  • Explore possibilities for the extension of the project concept to reach other countries in the Region
  • Generate commitments for creating CSR policies that allow countries to better use their potentials
  • Support existing CSR initiatives in public-private cooperation
  • Provide strong business cases to be examined by private sector representatives

Representatives from the CEE Region participating in the Forum were traditionally familiar with CSR concepts and values, but their potentials have not been fully exploited. Evidences on achieved improvements by Croatian SMEs motivated a vibrant debate on the modalities of transferring Croatian experiences to other countries in the CEE Region.

CSR conferences in selected countries

The following four countries were selected to carry out national awareness raising events: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia. In that context, UNIDO has organized one CSR conference in each target country, providing guidance in particular to SMEs and advisory institutions in terms of CSR implementation.