Today MEP Jens Nilsson (S&D, SE, and initiator of the Intergroup) declared: “I am very happy that we managed to make this happen. Now I look forward to continuing the dialogue with the sector, MEPs from different political groups and Member States in the new Social Economy Intergroup”. Referring to the broad support for the Social Economy Intergroup he added: “There is wide support in the European Parliament from members who feel that the social economy is truly important for strengthening the European economy and democracy”.

Alain Coheur, President of Social Economy Europe, said that during the last legislative terms, Social Economy Europe - together with a large number of other civil society players, and local authorities –have been working very successfully with the Members of the European Parliament in the frameworkof the Social Economy Intergroup, which was 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. The re-establishment of the Social Economy Intergroup is a proof of the felt need for and effectiveness of this Intergroup.”

Social Economy is a very important reality in the EU, representing 2 million enterprises and providing paid employment to over 14.5 million Europeans, representing about 6.5% of the working population in the EU. But over and beyond its quantitative importance, Social Economy has proven its ability to make an effective contribution to solve the new social and environmental problems and its position as a necessary sector for sustainable economic growth, fairer income and wealth distribution and strengthening economic democracy in the European Union. In this current context of economic and social crisis, the main families of social economy (cooperatives, foundations, mutual societies and associations) have an important potential for growth and jobs creation in the EU. The new Social Economy Intergroup will be an excellent tool for dialogue between Social Economy organisations and European Institutions (Parliament, Commission and Council) to promote the role of Social Economy in the European Union.