Commissioner Thyssen supports an Action Plan for the social economy

On Friday 20th January SEE President, Juan Antonio Pedreño, met Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, responsible for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility. The meeting took place at a moment in which EU Institutions and Member States are willing to set-up concrete actions to support social economy enterprises in Europe.

Commissioner Thyssen underlined that the Commission has paid close attention to the requests from the Member States, the Parliament, the EESC, GECES and the social economy’s representative organisations. Thus, she stressed that the Commission is fully committed to support the further development of social economy enterprises in Europe. In the same way, she explained that she will continue working with Commissioner Bieńkowska on an Action Plan for the social economy and, particularly, for social enterprises.

Ms. Thyssen emphasised that concrete actions to boost quality jobs creation by social economy enterprises, to increase the visibility of social economy entrepreneurship models, or to improve their access to finance and EU funding, cannot wait. Consequently, the Start-up and Scale-up Initiative adopted by the Commission in November, includes actions in favour of the social economy; and decided to use a further EFSI contribution to complement the EU programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) financial instruments for social enterprises and microfinance, and help it increase from 193 million euro to about one billion euro.

SEE President, Juan Antonio Pedreño, expressed his gratitude to Commissioner Marianne Thyssen for the opportunity to have an exchange of views on EU actions for social economy enterprises, as well as for her support for the preparation of an Action Plan for the social economy; a proposal that has been consistently supported by SEE. President Pedreño declared: “We are ready to work together with the Commission and the other EU institutions to prepare an ambitious Action Plan for the social economy”.

Pedreño highlighted that there are more than 2 million social economy enterprises in the EU that employ over 14.5 million people, and account for 8% of the EU’s GDP. As recently acknowledged by the European Parliament’s report on a European Pillar of Social Rights social economy enterprises provide a good example in terms of creating quality employment, supporting social inclusion and promoting a participatory economy.

SEE President invited Commissioner Marianne Thyssen to the European Conference on social economy that SEE is organising in close collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Social Security of Spain and the Spanish Confederation of social economy enterprises (CEPES), to be held in Madrid in May. Pedreño emphasised that this European Conference will be of key importance to strengthen the political dialogue on social economy between the European institutions, Member States and the social economy representative organizations.

Social Economy Europe (SEE) is the EU-level representative organisation for the social economy. SEE members are the European organisations of mutual and cooperative insurers, non-profit healthcare players, health mutuals and health insurance funds; foundations, associations of general interest, work integration social enterprises, paritarian institutions of social protection, ethical banks and financiers, and the European Cities and Regions for the social economy. At national level, SEE represents the national social economy organisations of France (ESS-France), Italy (National Third Sector Forum), Portugal (CASES) and Spain (CEPES).

For further information, please contact:
Víctor Meseguer, Director

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