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Call for continuing supportive policies for the social economy in the European Union

2 April 2014 [ English ] français ]

In its 2014 Elections Memorandum the Social Economy Intergroup of the European Parliament calls on political parties and individual candidates for the European Parliament to ensure that in the upcoming legislature social economy and social enterprises in the European Union are ranked as high as they are valued. Although many supportive policy initiatives have been launched during the last legislature, the social economy is still lacking full legal recognition and full appreciation of its specificities and it is of utmost importance that these supportive initiatives will be further developed in the period 2014-2019. Today, Marc Tarabella MEP, co-Chair of the Social Economy Intergroup of the European Parliament presented the 2014 Election Memorandum at the public hearing of the Intergroup.

Bruno Roelants, Secretary General of CECOP, who has participated in this meeting, underlined that, in spite of positive advances on the topic of social enterprises in Europe, including in policy making, "there was too much emphasis on the social delivery side of social enterprises vs democratic governance, not to mention democratic control”. “Democratic control by local stakeholders provide”, he said, “a fantastic feedback on people’s needs on which social innovation can be promoted”. He also argued that EU policies on services of general interest (health, work integration, housing, environment, social services etc.), in which most of the social enterprise typologies brought together in the Commission’s Social Enterprise Expert Group (GECES) are involved, are not properly connected to policies on social enterprises.

The Social Economy Intergroup focuses in its call on the new European Parliament on three issues. Firstly, the new European Parliament should strengthen the spaces for dialogue on social economy within the European Parliament by establishing a successive Social Economy Intergroup in the period 2014-2019. Secondly, the new European Parliament should strive for full implementation of the EP reports on social economy that have been adopted in the last legislature. More general, the Intergroup calls for the continuous support of the development of the social economy sector in the European Union. The social economy sector represents more than 10% of all EU enterprises and 6% of total employment in the EU. It also reinforces social cohesion and civil participation.

About the Social Economy Intergroup

Created in 1990, the Social Economy Intergroup of the European Parliament has established an impressive track record as a platform and facilitator of the inter-parliamentary dialogue and as a linking pin between the social economy sector and Members of Parliament. With nearly 50 MEPs and 30 sector organisations, CECOP being one of them, the Social Economy Intergroup of the European Parliament is an invaluable source of information about the social economy sector in the European Union. The rationale behind the Social Economy Intergroup is rooted in the diversity of the social economy which covers a variety of key policy areas in the European Union. The European Parliament has recognized the importance of the social economy at European level through the establishment of the Social Economy Intergroup.

Today, the Social Economy Intergroup is co-chaired by Italian MEP Raffaele BALDASSARRE (EPP) and Belgian MEP Marc TARABELLA (S&D). The vice-presidents are the German MEP Sven GIEGOLD (Greens-EFA), Italian MEP Patrizia TOIA (S&D) and the French MEP Marie-Christine VERGIAT (GUE/NGL). SOCIAL ECONOMY EUROPE’s secretariat provides a strong logistical support to the Social Economy Intergroup.

Read the Memorandum of the Social Economy Intergroup for the European Parliament elections here: