THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- welcomes the fact that the Commission has placed the social economy and social innovation at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy flagship initiative Innovation Union, the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion, and the Single Market Act;
- agrees that a strategic analysis of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become more important in terms of businesses' competitiveness. This can help with risk management, cost containment, securing capital, customer relations, management of staff, and innovation capacity. By paying attention to CSR, businesses can consolidate the trust that employees, consumers and citizens have in them;
- approves of the Commission's appeal to European business leaders to work closely with public authorities and other stakeholders to promote responsible business in an increasing number of EU companies, in line with the clear targets set for 2015 and 2020;
- encourages the Commission to pay more attention to different levels of development and to the regional differences still observed within the EU. The situations of Member States, regions and cities in relation to the Europe 2020 strategy's five headline targets - for employment, research and innovation, climate change and energy, education, and preventing poverty - vary considerably, and the crisis is affecting them in varying degrees.