The scale and influence of companies, in particular of Transnational Corporations (TNCs), has grown significantly, particularly over the last 20 years. TNCs benefit from a global market for the development of their business but are not held globally accountable for the negative impacts of their operations. States are ultimately responsible for public welfare, and must ensure that TNCs, as well as domestic enterprises (including SMEs), can be held accountable to the communities they affect; through legally binding rules of accountability and liability – on global, European, national and local level. Binding legal measures would be most effective in establishing a general incentive for responsible corporate behaviour.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on the other hand is the government and business community’s response to this public pressure. The Green 8 insist on the clear differentiation between the two concepts – corporate accountability and corporate social responsibility.