(Final report - 2006)



As part of their activities on the “citizens’ side” of corporate social responsibility and on the participation of citizens’ organizations in policy making, Active Citizenship Foundation (FONDACA) and Active Citizenship Network (ACN) carried out a research project on partnerships between private companies and citizens’ organizations in 8 European Union countries. The project was supported by the European Commission, DG Employment and Social Affairs, and by Unicredit Group and Enel SpA. It was aimed, on the one hand, at filling the existing gap in knowledge on cooperation between citizens’ organizations and companies in developing corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities; and, on the other, at identifying, on the basis of existing good practices, guidelines for the development of partnerships in Europe.

The project was conducted in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, United Kingdom between July 2005 and June 2006. It consisted in the identification of successful partnerships and in the collection of information about them, by interviewing representatives of the private and civic sides of these partnerships. 36 partnerships were identified and, hence, 72 key informants were interviewed.

The project was carried out by national-based citizens’ organizations participating in the ACN network: The World of NGOs (Austria), Cyprus Consumer Association (Cyprus), BBE Bundesnetzwerk, Bürgerschaftliches Engagement (Germany), National Association for Consumer Protection (Hungary), Ghaqd-tal-Konsumaturi (Malta), Association of Polish Consumers (Poland), Legal Information Center for NGOs (Slovenia), Rutland Citizens Advise Bureau (United Kingdom). In Italy, it was implemented by Cittadinanzattiva. At the European level, the research was lead by a team, composed of Barbara D’Alessio, Cecilia Fonseca, Antonio Gaudioso, Giovanni Moro, Charlotte Roffiaen, Melody Ross (Director of the project), Monica Ruffa, Ilaria Vannini.

This report was written by Giovanni Moro and Ilaria Vannini, both of FONDACA. The Guidelines for good CSR practices (Section C.3) were drawn up by Charlotte Roffiaen, Director of Active Citizenship Network.

The report is divided into three parts. The first deals with the framework of the project, the research design and the development of the project itself. The second part presents the main results of the analysis of the questionnaires. The third part contains the conclusions, recommendations and a set of guidelines for improving partnerships in Europe.