EU Banking social partners commit to CSR

Friday 18 November 2016

The EU sectoral social dialogue committee in the banking sector invited social partners from the EU member states to an event to follow up on the joint declaration on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which had been signed in 2014.

Mr. David-Pascal Dion, Head of Social Dialogue Unit at DG Employment of the European Commission, gave a welcoming speech and emphasized the important role of social dialogue, especially in the banking sector. He encouraged the European social partners to continue investing in capacity building in countries where social dialogue structures have yet to be built or strengthened.

Pia Desmet, UNI Europa Finance Vice-president, reminded all social partners that a declaration on CSR is only as strong as its implementation. Seeing the reality of the banking sector these days leaves some doubt where the joint declaration is taken on board at national and at company level. Cutting costs, also in terms of personnel, still seems to be the first business priority. Trade unions are ready to offer better solutions and the social dialogue should be a frame to discuss them.

Ignacio Gisbert, Chairman of the Human Resources Network at the European Savings Banks Association and Jens Thau, Chairman of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee of the European Banking Federation also reiterated their commitment to the declaration.

A practical example of a multinational company taking CSR and social dialogue seriously, was presented. Based on the texts established at European level, UniCredit has already signed three joint social partner declarations at group level. The most recent one being a joint declaration on responsible sales. Emanuele Recchia, Head of Industrial Relations and Legal of UniCredit Group and Angelo Di Cristo, former President of UniCredit’s European Works Council and current UNI Finance Head of Department, presented their joint work.

Finally, Carla Kiburg of FNV Bondgenoten from the Netherlands, presented a possible future development: International sectoral CSR-agreements. A multi stakeholder approach facilitated by the Dutch government provides the opportunity in high risk sectors to investigate in the sustainability and compliance to human rights of companies’ investment policies.

EU social partners of the banking committed to continue the discussion and improved follow-up on the joint declaration on CSR.

Read here the Corporate Social Responsibility joint statement: