Annals of the Fondazione Luigi Einaudi

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Economics, History and Political Science

The Annals is a forum for the free exchange of ideas
among scholars working in the field of social sciences
Volume LV 2 - 2021

Sustainable Development as a Fundamental Goal of the EU and its Implications for Business in Society

Vera Palea,
pp. 225-242
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In recent times, sustainable development has emerged as a major concern for economy and society. Retooling the economies according to sustainability criteria has become even more important with the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, the European Commission has taken several steps for relaunching the economy, which are intended not to bring the economy back to the status quo before the pandemic but to bounce it forward according to social and environmental sustainability criteria. This article highlights that sustainable development is not just an objective of this specific Commission, but a founding value of the European Union (EU) as set out by the Lisbon Treaty, which well describes the socio-economic model that the EU aims to pursue. Reorienting the economy towards sustainable development requires rethinking the role of business in society. This article shows that only an entity view of the firm is consistent with the fundamental goals of the EU as defined by the Lisbon Treaty. In doing so, it provides the entity view of the firm with a sound background that goes beyond an academic perspective, making the integration of sustainability criteria into daily life an essential requisite for business to comply with the overall EU institutional setting.