Europe, between Mandatory and Voluntary Approach to CSR: Some New Evidence from the Polish Listed Companies
This paper aims to explore the relationship between corporate governance rules and application of CSR practices into operations of the top 30 companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Since in Poland, so far, there is no obligation to follow any specific CSR standards or to make disclosures of non-financial, social and environmental information, this is still a fully voluntary approach. At the moment, only some of companies listed on the WSE are regularly applying and reporting on CSR practices. The limited attention paid to CSR norms as well as CSR reporting under Polish law mean also that foreign companies seeking access to Polish capital market generally will not face serious constraints in terms of regulations regarding CSR. Moreover, the situation in Europe is very diverse. Although European companies have no general legal obligation under EU law to adopt CSR policies or to report on them, the 2003 Accounts Modernization Directive deals with a range of issues on corporate accounting and reporting, and it has been at origin of more detailed legislation interventions at the national level. Countries such as Sweden, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and the UK have mandated the disclosure of corporate social responsibility data. While in adopting and implementing corporate governance rules for the listed companies Poland has been not too distant from the other European countries, it appears only on the verge of a decision on the mandatory application of the CSR policy. Also the evidence on this topic from Polish listed companies is still quite poor in Poland. This paper would be an attempt to give a first conclusion from the preliminary research and will give a basis for the further deeper analysis.
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