The European Council in Lisbon made a special appeal to companies’ sense of social responsibility to help the EU “to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion”. As a response to that appeal, and to the increasing interest in CSR in the EU, an ambitious campaign has been launched by European business leaders through the organisations CSR Europe, Copenhagen Centre and the International Business Leaders Forum. The campaign will take the form of a “European CSR Marathon”, linking conferences in 12 European cities. The final event will be the “European CSR Olympics of best practice” in 2004.

The conferences in the CSR Marathon will focus on:

* Popularising the business case for CSR;
* Building the capacity of current and future business leaders and stakeholders;
* Energising the dialogue and partnership between businesses and stakeholders.