COGITA (Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility through public policy) is an interregional project, bringing together 13 regions covering the whole of Europe and a budget of over €2.5M, which promotes social and environmental responsibility within SMEs across Europe.

The COGITA project was initiated on the 1st of January 2013 and concluded on December 31st 2014. All outputs are online


Within the context of promoting competitiveness through responsible behavior, COGITA’s overall objective is to improve public policies supporting the uptake of an integrated concept of CSR—combining social and environmental aspects—in SMEs.

Within this integrated concept, COGITA considers 5 subthemes:

  • Raising CSR awareness and capacity building – how can public authorities help SMEs identify and implement their CSR strategies and practices?
  • CSR in public procurement – how can public procurement policies and procedures leverage SMEs’ commitment to CSR?
  • CSR criteria in public funding – how can public funding and related awarding criteria leverage SMEs’ commitment to CSR?
  • Inter-firm collaboration and supply chains – how can public authorities support cooperation among SMEs and/or within supply chains to achieve effective CSR strategies and policies?
  • Communication and branding – how can public       authorities help SMEs communicate their CSR        approach, efforts and achievements?



COGITA combines interregional exchange with local stakeholder involvement, in order to ensure that the project is in line with local priorities.

COGITA develops tools to support public authorities in their efforts to promote CSR as means of encouraging competitiveness, growth and more and better jobs in SMEs.

The project activities and outcomes include:

  • Exchange between partners on thematic and methodological concepts
  • Feasibility check on integrated CSR approaches in 13 European regions for public authorities to support SMEs in adopting an integrated concept of CSR
  • Recommendations on CSR policies and implemen-tation plans for public authorities, based on the results of 3 years of exchange og networking
  • Tools to support regional development within the field of CSR, including instruments emerging from an analysis of good practices and a CSR manual to guide others working within the field of public policy and CSR



  • CISE – Centre for Innovation and Economic Development – Agency of Forlì-Cesena Chamber of Commerce (IT)
  • Lower Austrian Government, Dept. Economic Affairs, Tourism, Technology (AT)
  • Bretagne Development Innovation (FR)
  • Cyprus University of Technology (CY)
  • Entreprise Flanders (BE)
  • Birmingham City Council (UK)
  • Athens University of Economics and Business –Research Centre (EL)
  • Green Network (DK)
  • Local Development Agency Ltd. Gliwice (PL)
  • Agency for the Support of Regional Development Košice (SK)
  • Kaunas University of Technology (LT)
  • Eindhoven City Council (NL)
  • General Council of the Catalan Chambers of Commerce (ES)