Support Social Economy

MEANS SUPPORTING:

  • The renewal of the Social Economy Intergroup of the European Parliament.
  • The appointment of commissioner for Social Economy.
  • The implementation of the Social Economy Action Plan.

As candidates for the European Parliament, your endorsement of the social economy manifesto sends a powerful message.

WHAT SOCIAL ECONOMY IS

The social economy in Europe is recognized by major institutions (UN, ILO, OECD, EU…) and civil society organizations as a key player to address a range of crucial challenges at all levels.

The social economy in Europe is recognized by major institutions (UN, ILO, OECD, EU…) and civil society organizations as a key player to address a range of crucial challenges at all levels.

In a context where sustainability, equity, and inclusion are imperatives, the social economy stands as a transformative force.

How is it possible? Because of the principles it puts into practice and because it is active in all sectors of activities in a way that puts #peoplebeforeprofit. The 3 principles of Social Economy are:

 

    • Primacy of people and the social objective over capital
    • Solidarity and the reinvestment of most profits to carry out the social objectives
    • Democratic governance.

 

Applying these principles in economic activity is per se a fundamental changemaker as it promotes collective entrepreneurship and a fair distribution of wealth. From a legal point of view SE initiatives can be cooperatives, associations, foundations, mutuals and social enterprises that enact these principles in their economic model. These models are by essence more inclined to respond to contribute to Sustainable Development Goals. These activities in practice respond to most of the EU major challenges.

 

HOW SOCIAL ECONOMY RESPOND TO TODAY'S CHALLENGES

Social economy puts the community, people and the planet, before profit. It answers economic needs and social challenges in innovative way. This makes it a key force in particular in times of great challenges, like the ones the EU is facing, such as strong global geopolitical tensions, environmental threats and digital transformation. All these challenges impact our economies but also our societies which are facing issues of sustainability and solidarity. Not only is social economy a key partner for the industrial autonomy of the EU, it is also answers the needs of people and communities. How? Here are just a few examples.

Social economy puts the community, people and the planet, before profit. It answers economic needs and social challenges in innovative way. This makes it a key force in particular in times of great challenges, like the ones the EU is facing, such as strong global geopolitical tensions, environmental threats and digital transformation. All these challenges impact our economies but also our societies which are facing issues of sustainability and solidarity. Not only is social economy a key partner for the industrial autonomy of the EU, it is also answers the needs of people and communities. How? Here are just a few examples.

 Social Economy is driving the transition to renewable and decentralized energy sources, promoting local energy generation and energy efficiency. This not only reduces dependence on fossil fuels but also strengthens community resilience to climate challenges. Social economy initiatives are developing sustainable business practices, adopting clean technologies, and promoting environmentally-friendly lifestyles, with impact locally and globally. It is pioneer in the field of upcycling and recycling as well as green and shared mobility solutions.

On the labor front, the social economy supports (collective) entrepreneurship is generating quality and stable employment, fostering worker participation in decision-making, and prioritizing people’s well-being over financial gains. The social economy enterprises do not relocate, harnessing activity and employment to the territory and working from the local level for the development and stability of their communities. SE is specialized in integrating in the labour market, populations that are underrepresented (like women and youth) or even excluded (migrants, people with disabilities). When it comes to disruptive technologies, SE provides solutions that focus on workers’ rights (like platform coops), dialogue between stakeholder, as well as green solutions tailored to local needs.

In fact, SE supports needs of communities in a given territory. For instance, social economy and its companies are providing affordable and sustainable housing solutions, containing inflation cost, countering the housing crisis and promoting inclusive communities. More broadly, SE provides an approach to property based on autonomy of use and collective property, to facilitate access to business activities (shops for small businesses, land for farmers…). It is innovator in short supply chain of local and quality (often organic) food for citizens and schools, while paying fairly producers. Regarding mobility it pioneered shared vehicles for citizens and co-workers. In a nutshell SE provides quality local life solutions at affordable price.

In the realm of social services, the social economy is upfront providing quality services tailored to community needs, such as elderly care, education, and health. SE is an essential pilar of social protection systems and the EU’s best ally to support a Social Europe. It also is unique contributor to maintaining civic and democratic spaces.

And the list goes on, as Social Economy in Europe is proving to be a dynamic and collaborative force that effectively addresses the most pressing economic and social challenges, promoting equitable, sustainable, and inclusive development across Europe.

SE ALLOWS A FAIRER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE REINDUSTRIALIZATION OF THE EU.

 

HOW THE EU CAN BE A CATALYST FOR SOCIAL ECONOMY & A FAIRER EUROPE?

The EU has developed an Action Plan for Social Economy with clear actions until 2030. To strive and live up to its full potential, Social Economy needs this plan to be unravelled. For this to happen there needs to be strong links with the European Parliament as well as a Commissioner that guides these transversal policies that touch upon all sectors of activities.

The European Parliament’s Intergroup on Social Economy is a cross-party and cross-committee grouping that aims to promote and support the social economy within the European Union. For more than 30 years the SE Intergroup been a place where the SE ecosystem and MEPs can concert. In particular, it is a platform for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to exchange ideas, discuss policies, and advocate for initiatives that strengthen the social economy ecosystem. The Intergroup focuses on advancing policies that promote social enterprises, cooperatives, mutuals, associations, foundations and other social economy actors, aiming to create a more inclusive, sustainable, and equitable economy in Europe. The diversity of SE economic models and sectors of activities, as well as the diversity of policies impacting SE, call for such an institutionalized agora.

Having a Commissioner for Social Economy means recognizing the growing importance of the social economy ecosystem within the European Union. This appointment would demonstrate a commitment to advancing policies and initiatives that prioritize social and environmental objectives alongside economic goals.

The Commissioner for Social Economy would play a crucial role in imbedding SE in all EU policies and pushing further the social Europe embedded in the economic goals. The market can no longer be considered as separate from society as they are deeply embedded. Communities and the market need SE to foster social cohesion, as well as to address pressing challenges such as unemployment, inequality, and climate change.

Moreover, having a dedicated Commissioner for Social Economy would enhance visibility and coordination within the EU institutions, ensuring that the specific needs and contributions of the social economy sector are adequately recognized and supported. This would ultimately contribute to building a more resilient, sustainable, and equitable European economy.

Continuing to work on the implementation of the Social Economy Action Plan (SEAP) is crucial to strengthen and expand the role of the social economy in Europe. The plan provides a detailed roadmap for promoting the growth and sustainability of social economy enterprises and organizations. It has been adopted a year and half ago while paving the way for 10 years, the work has just begun and needs to be pursued. Even more so in times of geopolitical turmoil.

Beyond accompanying these actions with adapted funding at EU level, in particular SEE would like to see the following points of the SEAP further implemented:

    • Incorporate SE transversally in all EU industrial, economic, and social policies.
    • Properly monitor and support the implementation of the recommendation to Council on the framework conditions for SE.
    • Support SE through appropriate financial support.
    • Strengthen SE skills and education at all levels of learning.
    • Adapt state aid and public procurement to ensure a level playing field for SE.
    • Adapt measuring and evaluating methods of SE impact so that they reflect the true contribution of SE.
    • Develop appropriate taxation policies.
    • Strengthen the role of SE in international cooperation.

ARE YOU A EU PARLIAMENT CANDIDATE?

Endorse the manifesto and share your engagement towards SE on social media.

As candidates for the European Parliament, your endorsement of the social economy manifesto sends a powerful message. It demonstrates your commitment to fostering inclusive economy, promoting social cohesion, and advancing sustainability across the continent.

The role of the European Parliament in supporting SE is key. If you believe in the added value of SE and will support its development once elected, sign our Manifesto.

Many people do not know who to vote, but they know what they stand for. Promoting your endorsement may help many indecisive voters involved in SE to understand where you stand and decide to support you.

The European Parliament needs representatives who are aligned with the values and principles of the social economy. These are the values and principles that society demands in today’s world. By embracing the social economy, you show that you understand the importance of putting people and planet first.

Let’s work together to build a Europe that works for everyone, where economic success is measured not just by GDP, but by the well-being of all its citizens. Endorse the social economy manifesto and join us in shaping a brighter future for Europe.

Candidates who have endorsed SEE memorandum:

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