chapter  9
16 Pages

Slovenia: CSR as a luxury in tough economic times

ByURŠA GOLOB, KLEMENT PODNAR

Slovenia is one of the relatively successful new European Union member states and one of the few transition countries to join both the EU and the Eurozone with a fairly robust economy (Crowley and Stanojevic´ 2011). It also has a strong trade union movement that dates back to the previous socialist regime and a high trade union density compared with the other transition countries. It is therefore positioned alongside countries with longer traditions of strong unionization, such as neighbouring Austria and Italy (Fulton 2011). Although this should indicate a predisposition to develop corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices at a national level, a brief look at Slovenia shows a different picture. Despite the emphasis placed on CSR by the EU institutions, it seems that this debate remains a challenge for Slovenia. It also means that beside the uneven practice of CSR at corporate level, there is still room to develop the debate further and include relevant actors in multi-stakeholder dialogue. In particular, trade unions should be involved in shaping the meanings and representations of CSR (Justice 2002). However, it seems that trade unions in Slovenia are not a visible stakeholder when it comes to CSR. Although one could argue that employeerelated issues, which are at the centre of union activities, are strongly embedded in the internal dimension of CSR (Golob 2011b), they have never been explicitly linked to CSR in trade union discourse. Similar union attitudes towards CSR have been observed in other countries analysed in this volume. However, the reasons for this trend in Slovenia may be very different from those in other countries and reflect the country’s particular institutional context.