: The paper aims to contribute to our understanding of whether a shift is taking place in societal attitudes towards a perception that corporations have duties based on international law. This is assessed on the basis of EU initiatives on inclusiveness and responsible competitiveness, particularly the EU Multistakeholder Forum and the Lisbon Strategy, with a particular focus on goals or views related to the human rights of non-discrimination and rights to work, education and vocational training, and network governance in (soft) law creation. It is found that despite obvious links, international law does not serve as a clear source of inclusiveness or responsible competitiveness. It is also found that the initiatives assessed do not indicate a shift at EU institutional level towards a perception that business holds duties under international law. International law seems at the most to be seen as a soft law source of guidance for business action.
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Fourth Annual Colloqium of the European Academy of Business in Society (EABIS), Warsaw, 5-6 December 2005: Corporate Responsibility and Competitiveness: Developing Human Capital for Sustainable Growth