The Global Compact was introduced to Portugal on 9 May during a European Conference on "Competitiveness and CSR" held in Setubal. The one-day event was organized by the Portuguese Association for CSR (RSE Portugal), a partner of CSR Europe. It brought together approximately 200 representatives of Portuguese companies, transnationals with operations in Portugal, business schools, and NGOs.
The First Lady of Portugal, Senhora D. Maria Jose Ritta, delivered a speech in support of responsible corporate citizenship. Richard Howitt, EU Parliament Rapporteur on ethical business, said Europe strongly supports CSR and he welcomed the presence of the Global Compact at the Setubal Conference. Anton Stadler, Head of Outreach at the Global Compact Office in New York, presented the Global Compact and invited business leaders to think about the Secretary-General's initiative in the Portuguese context. He also encouraged companies to sign up to the initiative. "Look at the Compact as the global extension of CSR activities in Portugal and elsewhere in Europe, an extension to Asia, the Americas and Africa", Stadler said. Given Portugal’s role as the European bridge to the Portuguese-speaking world, the Global Compact is encouraging the development of a Global Compact Network Portugal, with a website in Portuguese, enabling interested companies and business schools to exchange ideas and experiences related to the implementation of the Global Compact’s nine principles.