ESMED publication: "The social economy in the Mediterranean" (April 2011)
THE SOCIAL ECONOMY IN THE MEDITERRANEAN
A SECTOR WHICH REPRESENTS:
AND WITH WHICH:
134,120,663 INDIVIDUALS ARE ASSOCIATED
ACROSS ALGERIA, FRANCE, ITALY, MOROCCO, PORTUGAL, SPAIN AND TUNISIA.
The Euro-Mediterranean Network for Social Economy (ESMED) is an organisation which has, since 2000, been promoting cooperation and dialogue between Social Economy undertakings and organisms from the north and south of the Mediterranean.
In order to mark its tenth anniversary, ESMED organised a conference on April 2011 in Barcelona. During this event, the publication "The Social Economy in the Mediterranean” was presented (click on the image to download the document):
— in English
— in Arabic
— in Spanish
THE ADDED VALUE OF THE SOCIAL ECONOMY IN THE MEDITERRANEAN*
The organisations and enterprises involved in the Social Economy are born of, and grow out of, the principles of solidarity and individual commitment to a process of active citizenship, contributing to the development of the Mediterranean Basin. This contribution is laid out in several official documents, clearly setting out Social Economy’s capacity:
To generate quality employment
The Conclusions of the 7th Euro- Mediterranean Foreign Ministers’ Conference highlighted the need to promote the role of SMEs and other forms of entrepreneurial management, especially the Social Economy, in the interests of increasing levels of employment. Luxembourg, 2005.
The 2009 Euro-Mediterranean Summit for Economic and Social Councils made was explicit, in its final declaration, on the need to develop entrepreneurship by supporting small and medium sized enterprises and promoting cooperatives and other forms of social economy, in order to create jobs, especially for people who are vulnerable and in danger of social exclusion. It is particularly important to develop all forms of social economy during periods of economic crisis.
To encourage sustainable growth and social cohesion
In the Opinion of the 2008 European Economic and Social Committee on "Freedom of association in the Euromed partner countries", it says that the social economy in its varying forms (cooperatives, mutual societies, development associations etc) occupies a very prominent place in the societies of the Mediterranean Member States, and its role is decisive for economic growth and employment, especially in SMEs and micro-enterprises, as well as fulfilling an important role as social service providers.
To combat poverty, creating life opportunities especially for the most vulnerable individuals
In the European Economic and Social Council’s 2008 Document on the social dimension of relations between the European Union and Mediterranean member states, it is clearly stated that among the instruments used to combat factors of poverty, it should be mentioned, among others, social aid programmes, systems of social protection and pensions, programmes which encourage an active labour market and also those whose objective the organisations of the social economy.
To reinforce participatory democracy and improved governance
In 2002 the Committee of the Regions of the EU highlighted the need to encourage associations in the interests of developing a robust social economy and civil society, and that to drive cooperation and exchange with EU countries is even more pressing in those countries on the south shores of the Mediterranean that are involved in the “Process of Barcelona”.
To promote pluralism within economic markets
In their 2007 report on competition and social cohesion factors in the creation of a Mediterranean Euro zone, the Economic and Social Councils of Spain, Algeria, Italy, Tunisia, Malta, Greece and Turkey made it quite clear that in order to palliate investment shortfalls, and to increase economic and social development opportunities in areas that hold little attraction for foreign investors, it may prove of interest to encourage all kinds of collective business initiatives within the context of the social economy.
*text extracted from the English version of the presentation leaflet
Presentation leaflet of ESMED and "The social economy in the Mediterranean":
— in English:
— in Arabic:
— in French:
— in Spanish:
See online : On CEPES’s website