CSR - introduction

The new Member States of the EU find themselves in a completely unique situation. Starting in the mid 1990s, they initiated steps towards achieving membership in the European Community. Above all, these steps consisted in harmonising domestic legislation such that it would correspond to European Community standards.


The effort to create a stable business environment completely overlapped with the interests of multinational corporations in locating their production facilities in areas close to important target markets which also offered sufficient infrastructure and a cheap labour force. Thanks to these factors, since the end of the 1990s there has been a massive inflow of foreign investment, primarily by the large multinationals. In a fundamental way, these activities are changing:

  • the business environment
  • the structure of society
  • the nature of the physical landscape 
  • the quality of democratic processes


Multinationals, therefore, are essentially influencing the form of the societies living in the new Member States. When realising these facts, multinationals should primarily make sure they behave in a sufficiently responsible manner vis-a-vis the society and the environment.


Generally speaking, it is understood that multinationals themselves are the main movers behind promotion of the concept of corporate social responsibility. Therefore we have initiated an investigation into how multinational corporations are behaving in the new Member States. Given our limited means, our findings will not be completely comprehensive, but they will say something about dominant trends.