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Redefining the European agenda for the social economy

23 November 2014 [ English ] français ]

More than 600 people participated in the conference "Unlocking the potential of the social economy for EU growth", organised by the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Policy within the framework of the Italian Presidency of the EU Council, in Rome on 17th and 18th November. The objective of the conference was to redefine a European agenda for the social economy.

The final declaration called the “Rome Strategy”, elaborated by the participants and to be conveyed by the Italian EU Presidency to the European Commission, calls for:

- A clear reference point to the social economy among EU commissioners’

- A dedicated structure in the European Commission

- A policy document called “Social Economy initiative”

- Meetings among ministers at the European Council

- A high level national civil servants’ committee, and

- The re-establishment of the European Parliament intergroup on social economy.

It also requests that the 300 billion € of the Junker investment programme be dedicated to the social economy, and calls for the promotion of dedicated funding institutions (like the Italian 3% fund) and guarantee funds as well as an improvement of the status of youth & women, within the social economy. The document can be downloaded here: http://www.socialeconomyrome.it/files/Rome%20strategy_EN.pdf

CECOP network was well represented: the President, Luca Dal Pozzo spoke in the working group on national and EU policies and the Secretary General, Bruno Roelants moderated the working group on employment, where the President of CICOPA, Manuel Mariscal and Camillo De Berardinis (CFI) also made presentations. Diego Dutto (Legacoopsociali) and Diana Dovgan, Policy Officer of CECOP intervened in the working group on public procurement. Aldo Soldi (Coopfond) intervened in the working group on financial instruments. Sven Bartilsson (Coompanion) and Stefano Granata (CGM) participated in the working group on the new forms of social economy, while Giuseppe Guerini (Federsolidarietà) spoke in the final plenary session, as well as Juan Antonio Pedreño (COCETA and CEPES). A number of other representatives of the social economy (agricultural, housing and consumer cooperatives, cooperative banks, insurance mutual, foundations), EU Commission civil servants, government representatives and academics also took part.