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Home > News > The Social Economy Intergroup of the European Parliament and the European Commission agree to continue building an ambitious policy for the social economy

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The Social Economy Intergroup of the European Parliament and the European Commission agree to continue building an ambitious policy for the social economy

30 10 2017

This is evident from the meeting held in Strasbourg with the Vice President of the European Commission for Employment, Growth, Investments and Competitiveness, Jyrki Katainen, and Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, responsible for Employment, Social Affairs, Capacity and Labor Mobility with the co-presidents. of the Social Economy Intergroup, Jens Nilsson and Sofia Ribeiro and the president of CEPES and SOCIAL ECONOMY EUROPE, Juan Antonio Pedreño, to address the development of the social economy in Europe.

• This is clear from the conclusions of the meeting held in the European parliamentary headquarters in Strasbourg by the Vice-President of the Commission and Commissioner Thyssen with the co-chairs of the Social Economy Intergroup of the European Parliament and the President of CEPES and SOCIAL ECONOMY EUROPE.

• The Strasbourg meeting reinforces the institutional dialogue at the highest level between the European Commission and the Social Economy Inter-group that brings together more than 80 parliamentarians from the 6 main political groups of the European Parliament.

• The Commissioners and members of Parliament agreed to follow up on the actions currently being implemented by the EU executive in favor of the social economy and to explore new measures to be implemented.

 

(Madrid, October 27, 2017). The Vice President of the European Commission for Employment, Growth, Investments and Competitiveness, Jyrki Katainen , and Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, responsible for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labor Mobility, held a working meeting on October 24 with the co-chairs of the Economics Intergroup. and the president of CEPES and SOCIAL ECONOMY EUROPE to address the development of the social economy in Europe.

This meeting took place at the European Parliament's headquarters in Strasbourg as a result of the positive response from the President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker , to Intergroup's request to jointly design a European Union strategy in favor of this business model.

The meeting highlighted the full harmony between Parliament and the Commission to work for the social economy, a business fabric that plays a key role in the economic and social development of Europe.

In the first place, Vice-President Katainen reviewed in his speech the measures that the Commission is carrying out this year and those that it will carry out during 2018 to favor the access of the social economy to financing and markets, to improve the regulatory frameworks that regulate this business model, as well as promote social and technological innovation and increase the internationalization of social economy companies.

Regarding the financial aspects, Katainen placed special emphasis on the use of funds from the Juncker Plan - European Strategic Investment Fund - for investments in social economy projects, while Commissioner Thyssen reported on how the European Program for the Employment and Social Innovation facilitates access to financing for this type of companies. The Commissioner added that, because of its important socio-economic weight - 2 million companies and 14.5 million employed persons and 8% of the European Union's GDP - the social economy is a key player in the implementation of the European Pillar of Rights Social, which will be proclaimed on November 17 in Gothenburg on the occasion of the Social Summit of Heads of State and Government.

Members of Parliament, led by the MEP and co-chairman of the Jens Nilsson Intergroup, welcomed the measures adopted by the Commission and the organization of a European Social Economy Conference , which will take place on 16 November in Gothenburg, prior to the Social Summit.

Nilsson called for deepening cooperation between the two institutions so that the social economy is a structural policy of the European Union in the next term: "we must leave a legacy to the next Commission and the next Parliament to move forward." In this sense, the MEPs showed their willingness to work together with the Commission in the definition of an ambitious strategyof the European Union for this business model in Europe.

This willingness to cooperate was expressed in the agreement for the Intergroup to prepare a working document that, based on the work carried out by the Commission, identify new measures to further promote this business model in Europe to be presented to Vice President Katainen to mark a new "Roadmap".

In this sense, and following the interventions of the representatives of the European Commission, Sofia Ribeiro MEP took the floor to defend the need to promote European legal frameworks for the social economy that ensure that this business model benefits from the European single market.

Next, the parliamentarian Marie-Christine Vergiat insisted on her demand to move towards a European definition of social economy, able to unite the diversity of actors that form it and to serve as a basis for the development of effective policies both at European level, as of the different Member States.

MEP Sven Giegold demanded that the European Commission take advantage of the current legislature to launch a communication on social economy that gives coherence and visibility to the various actions of support to these companies.

The President of SOCIAL ECONOMY EUROPE and CEPES, Juan Antonio Pedreño , thanked the Commission for its actions on social economy and in his speech recalled the proposal of SOCIAL ECONOMY EUROPE supported by Parliament, to provide the European Union with a Plan of Action for the Social Economy. Pedreño also pointed out that the Social Economy laws of Spain, Portugal and France establish the principles and characteristics common to the diversity of actors in the social economy, which is a reference for the growing number of member states that are committed to this business model and that they need the decisive support of the European Institutions.

After the meeting, the president of CEPES and SEE stressed that: "the meeting in Strasbourg has shown that we are moving in the right direction and in a very positive way. The political commitment that Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska showed to the co-presidents of the Intergroup in April of last year in Strasbourg, has been concretized during these last months in a "Road Map" of actions in favor of the social economy that is going to enrich with the proposals of the Parliament and the European social economy represented by SOCIAL ECONOMY EUROPE ".

Pedreño also recalled that a few days ago the Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová , had already stated in the House of Parliament this commitment to the social economy in his response on 5 October to the question posed by Jens Nilsson on the implementation of a European Action Plan for the Social Economy.

For President Pedreño, the preparation of this Action Plan remains the most appropriate proposal to channel and implement an ambitious policy in favor of social economy companies, in which both the Parliament and the Commission coincide.

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