The Social Dimension of Globalization and EU Development Policy: Promoting Core Labour Standards and Corporate Social Responsibility

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Series Details Vol.30, No.3, July 2008, p459-477
Publication Date July 2008
ISSN 0703-6337
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Abstract: This article describes and analyses the role of the European Union in promoting the social dimension of globalization (SDG). In the context of its policy coherence for development (PCD) commitments, the EU aims to promote decent work, including core labour standards (CLS) and employment objectives, in the Third World. The first part of this article shows that the 'direct' impact of internal EU social policies on developing countries has been limited. Moreover, the Community's capacity to act in the International Labour Organization has been confined by sensitive competence issues. The second and third parts elaborate on the 'indirect' trade and development mechanisms through which the EU is advancing the SDG. Whereas the EU originally used a narrow approach centred on CLS in trade relations, it gradually developed a broader and development-orientated perspective, including the support of voluntary corporate social responsibility (CSR) schemes. The article concludes that although the EU has clearly increased the social face of its development policies, this softer approach is still in an embryonic phase.

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