Address: European Cooperative House
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Email: cecop@cecop.coop

European Commission’s renewed social agenda mention cooperatives

27 October 2008 [ English ] français ]

The EU’s renewed social agenda, presented on 2nd of July, features proposals on strengthening the fight against discrimination and improving workers’ rights and cross-border healthcare. It is one of the Commission’s priority projects before the end of its tenure. It contains 19 initiatives in the areas of employment and social affairs, education and youth, health, etc. (for more detailed information, see CECOP Link 2008/18).

As part of the fight against poverty global strategy, EU coordinates efforts to promote active inclusion, particularly for those who are furthest from the labour market. Commission has established “access to quality services” as one of the tree pillars in its active inclusion strategy and in this field, announces in the Renewed Social Agenda that it’s “working to ensure that single market and competition rules facilitate the development of good quality, accessible and sustainable social services, including those supplied by social economy enterprises (e.g. cooperatives, mutual undertakings).” *

CECOP hails the recognition given to cooperatives in this field but recall that entities involved in the offer of these types of services, including cooperatives, are facing a legal insecurity regarding the application of the internal market and competition rules. CECOP is of the opinion that it is necessary to develop a regulatory framework that would clarify the definitions of services of general interest (SGI) and social services of general interest (SSGI). Click here to read CECOP’s position on this issue (CECOP position on the communication “Services of General Interest, including social services of General Interest: a new European commitment”).


* Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - COM(2008) 412 final