As it does in other regions across the world, CEPES is fostering collaboration and dialogue with its counterparts in Latin America with a view to strengthening the presence of Social Economy at the large events that set the social and economic collaboration agenda of Spain and the European Union with Latin America.
CEPES has taken part in meetings and activities across Latin America. This has made it possible to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with organisations representing cooperatives and Social Economy in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Uruguay.
As a result of this collaboration, the Heads of State and Government of the countries that form the Ibero-American Community of Nations have highlighted “the fundamental role that cooperatives and other social economy organisations play in the comprehensive development of our nations. Their principles of productivity, competitiveness, complementarity, solidarity and, above all, social responsibility, strengthen the participatory nature of our democracies, foster job creation, support the fight against poverty, promote social integration and cohesion (especially, of women, young persons and adults with a disability), giving rise to conditions for development.” (16th Ibero-American Summit, Montevideo, Uruguay, November 2006.) This statement has been endorsed by the conclusions of later Ibero-American Summits, such as in San Salvador in 2008, and in the 1st Statement of the Meeting of Ministers for Social Affairs held in 2013 prior to the Summit in Panama. Further information about the Summits can be found in segib.org.
Governments across Latin America and international organisations have an increasing interest in Social Economy as an agent that responds to the main challenges experienced by the region. For instance, the Opinion on Social Economy in Latin America issued by the European Economic and Social Committee, or as expressed by the United Nations.
Several Latin American countries have pioneered the development of Social Economy and have set in place laws that regulate and foster the sector under a variety of denominations. This is the case of Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras and Mexico. In other countries, like Argentina, the drafting of a Law on Social and Solidarity Economy is being debated.
CEPES follows these processes up closely given the significant contribution they can make to the development of Social Economy worldwide.
The main organisations representing Social Economy or some of the institutions that it comprises in Latin America can be consulted in our directory.