On Wednesday 7 June our General Assembly took place in Gothenburg, Sweden (hybrid format), where we discussed and presented our next steps for the coming year.
This Assembly was special because we were in the framework of the conference “Social Economy 2023 – Building a stronger and resilient Europe” and it was the first one for our new Director, Sarah De Heusch.
Starting with some words of welcome and celebrating a full room that included observers such as the German Red Cross (Deutsches Rotes Kreuz). Our President Juan Antonio Pedreño reminded all the members of the Assembly that the Social Economy is at the most important moment in its history: instruments such as the adoption of the UN resolution “Promoting social and solidarity economy for sustainable development” should give us the impulse to address the challenges we are facing. According to our President, our current challenge is, without doubt, to develop the Social Economy Action Plan, in order to work with each country to generate public policies that help the social economy to scale up.
The agenda of the day included:
→ the approval of the minutes of the last Board Meeting and last General Assembly,
→ the approval of the balance account of 2022,
→ the approval of the 2023 budget
→ the approval of the SEE 2023 work plan, in which our Director Sarah De Heusch explained ten forward steps: integrating new members, achieving financial stability, strengthening SEE organisational structure, improving internal communication and inter-cooperation among SEE members, developing an inclusive governance model, play a crucial role in the development of the Social Economy Action Plan, influencing the development of the EU Institutions’ policies to promote social economy, and increasing visibility and external communication. Our Policy and Projects Lead Paula De Diego explained all the projects in which the SEE is currently involved.
WELCOME TO 2 NEW MEMBERS!
In the General Assembly the approval of two new members of the Social Economy Europe family took place: the Italian Cooperative Alliance and Social Economy Ukraine.
Alleanza delle Cooperative Italiane (Italian Cooperative Alliance) was born in 2011with the objective of joining the voice of more than 90% of cooperatives in all Italy.
Social Economy Ukraine -that has been previously incorporated in a different type of organisation- became formally a full member. Petro Darmoris, Director of Social Economy Ukraine, thanked SEE for helping in the creation of Social Economy Ukraine, and commented on the progress in public policy development in Ukraine that this organisation has positively influenced.
In our General Assembly, the work that SEE is doing to activate the intergroup of Social Economy in the European Parliament was also explained, alongside our key role in the Youth Entrepreneurship Policy Academy, which according to our President it’s a decisive instrument to spread the social economy in all countries. In this way, he commented on a project that is going to be presented to Commissioner Schmit to create a YEPA in each country and each region of Europe.
Alain Coheur, vicepresident of SEE explained his participation in the Social Economy Forum in Dakar.
Also, the team presented the book “Social Economy Awards 2021: +100 solutions that work for people and planet” and commented with the members the expectations for the Second Edition of the European Social Economy Awards that will be celebrated on 14th November in San Sebastian (Spain).
The Assembly concluded with a recognition to Victor Meseguer, who left the Direction of SEE after eight years of total dedication to the organisation. Thanks Victor, you left a mark on the road of all SEE family!