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Home > News > The European Union places the European Action Plan for the Social Economy as a pillar of the EU's social and economic reconstruction

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The European Union places the European Action Plan for the Social Economy as a pillar of the EU's social and economic reconstruction

03 06 2020

The Intergroup on Social Economy of the European Parliament, in a telematic meeting held yesterday before more than 400 personalities from the community institutions, from the Member States and from the entities of the Social Economy, places the European Action Plan for the Social Economy as a pillar of social and economic reconstruction after the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

• Through a meeting of the Intergroup on Social Economy of the European Parliament that brought together more than 400 personalities from the community institutions, the Member States and the representative entities of the Social Economy.

• The President of Social Economy Europe and CEPES, Juan Antonio Pedreño, stressed that despite the hard times we are experiencing, it is the time of the Social Economy, as recognized by the European institutions and more than 14 governments of the European Union, to cement a sustainable, inclusive and well-being future, in which no one is left behind.

• The European Commissioner for Employment, Nicolas Schmit, required the approval in 2021 of a European Action Plan for the Social Economy, commissioned by the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

• The Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, announced that the Spanish presidency of the Commission for Follow-up on the Luxembourg Declaration will promote the promotion of this business model in the States and European institutions, support and contribute to the Action Plan and recalled the appointment of Toledo as European Capital of the Social Economy.

 

Brussels, June 3, 2020.- The Intergroup on Social Economy of the European Parliament, in a telematic meeting held yesterday before more than 400 personalities from the community institutions, the Member States and the entities of the Social Economy, place the Plan European Action Plan for the Social Economy as a pillar of social and economic reconstruction after the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The European Commissioner for Employment, Nicolas Schmit , specified at this meeting the approval in 2021 of an ambitious Action Plan for the Social Economy, commissioned by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

In addition, Schmit recalled how organizations and companies in this business model are at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic, providing help and coverage to the most unfavorable groups. The commissioner also highlighted his commitment so that all the economic and social measures approved by the European institutions are applied to the Social Economy.

 

Roadmap

The president of 'Social Economy Europe' (SEE) and CEPES, Juan Antonio Pedreño , stressed that "despite the hard times we are experiencing, the European institutions recognize and are committed to developing a road map for the Social Economy, which represents 8% of the Union's GDP, with the aim of cementing a sustainable, inclusive and well-being future, in which no one is left behind ”.

Pedreño specified the need to "promote the Social Economy in Europe as a lever for reindustrialization and economic and social recovery." In this sense, he highlighted the “promotion of collective entrepreneurship as the engine for the reindustrialization of Europe”. For this reason, he asked “to bet on our human capital, accompanying and encouraging the youngest to develop strategic projects, undertaking collectively, a much more resilient way than the individual. Self-employment is important, but it is not the solution, it is less resilient to the crisis. ” Furthermore, he called for "plans to promote and assist collective entrepreneurs across Europe through appropriate legal and institutional frameworks."

The President of SEE and CEPES recalled that "In Europe the 'startups' of today that will be the great companies of the future are mostly cooperatives", whilerevealed "the existence of a social movement led by many young people who align themselves with the values of the social economy, so it is necessary to help them to undertake collectively."

Pedreño also called for “promoting the greater use of instruments such as the transfer of companies to workers, to save companies and jobs throughout Europe, as happened in the previous crisis. This instrument, more or less common in countries such as Spain, Italy or France, although in all of them there is still a way to go, it does not exist in the vast majority of countries in Europe ”.

Furthermore, Pedreño pointed out the need to identify the social economy as a vector for a green economy. In this sense, he indicated the promotion of fundamental initiatives for the ecological transition, such as the renewable energy cooperatives that already number more than 1,500 throughout Europe, promoting the role of the Social Economy in the Circular Economy, mainly through insertion companies dedicated to reuse, repair and recycling. Without forgetting key elements such as housing –through the key role of cooperatives– or sustainable agriculture.

The President of SEE and CEPES also stressed that "it is necessary to promote and drive the digitization of companies and entities of the Social Economy: there is no doubt that the future is digital, this crisis has also anticipated us even more, but also it must be fair, inclusive, democratic and with quality employment ”. Pedreño concluded by affirming that "this is the moment for Europe and it is also the moment for the Social Economy".

 

Yolanda Díaz: "Toledo, European Capital of the Social Economy"

For her part, the Minister of Labor and Social Economy of the Government of Spain, Yolanda Díaz , recalled the recent appointment of Toledo as European Capital of the Social Economy. "The city of the Three Cultures, an example of tolerance and dialogue that, today more than ever, are essential," he said.

The minister stressed that "we conceive of the Social Economy as a motor of change that respects people and the environment and as a lever for economic and social reconstruction" "The Social Economy has in its DNA the keys to recovery". For this reason, he added that the Spanish presidency of the Commission for the Follow-up of the Luxembourg Declaration will promote "the promotion of the Social Economy by the Member States and the European institutions."

The minister also commented "the commitment to social innovation carried out by Social Economy companies", "that put people at their center", as well as its impact on sustainable development, by the rooting in their territory, which makes them less prone to relocation, which reverts to fixing population and fighting depopulation ”.

During his speech, Diaz explained the six axes of work on which the Spanish presidency will work in the Monitoring Committee of the Luxembourg Declaration. Some axes that in turn contemplate measures that will enhance and develop the Social Economy at a European level and also have the challenge of joining this Committee with more countries of the European Union,

The Italian Patrizia Toia, MEP of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, stressed how the Social Economy must be a key tool in the way out of the crisis ”because“ they not only create benefits, but also values ”such as equality and commitment to the territory. For this reason, he stressed the importance of developing this business model to all EU countries. For thisFor this reason, he announced "open as many advantages as possible" in the European institutions to the Social Economy.

The need to develop a European Action Plan for the Social Economy, establishing regulatory changes to empower companies and reduce bureaucracy, was one of the main themes highlighted by the German Sven Giegold , from the Greens / European Free Alliance.

The Undersecretary of State of the Italian Ministry of Labor and Politics, Francesca Puglisi , affirmed that the States and the European Union "must intervene in the Social Economy", especially at this time when it is necessary to get out of the crisis caused by Covid -19 and "recognize the fundamental role that the Social Economy will play" in reconstruction plans.

Puglisi indicated that "it is necessary to develop a regulation that includes the Social Economy and revalues it", as well as "developing tax incentives and initiatives that contribute to the development of this business model, as a new way of cohesion in Europe.

 

Support from the political groups of the Eurochamber

The spokespersons of the main political groups of the European Parliament in the Intergroup agreed on specifying the role of the Social Economy in the reconstruction plans.

The Spanish MEP Leopoldo López , from the European Popular Group, specified that the "Social Economy is called to play a fundamental role in the reactivation of our continent after the crisis." To do this, he agreed with the president of SEE and CEPES to support collective entrepreneurship "because their companies never relocate and are less affected by the crisis due to their greater resilience." In addition, he stressed that "the Social Economy is an ally of public administrations" to promote, in an inclusive manner, economic and social development.

The president of the Intergroup, the Luxembourgian Monica Semedo , affirmed that “the confinement has affected us all, but its uneven impacts, and the companies of the Social Economy must be an important part of the recovery. We cannot leave the most vulnerable on the road. ”

"Social Economy companies," added Semedo, "have to improve our societies, make it greener and with better jobs," while highlighting their contribution to equal opportunities.

For her part, the French Manon Aubry , from the Group of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left, pointed out that "we are going to come out stronger from this crisis", at the same time that she valued "the DNA of the Social Economy, which will allow us , due to its values, change the relationship we have had with the economic sector ”. For this reason, he asked to “guarantee that the voice of the Social Economy will be heard in the future” within the institutions and states of the EU.

 

Examples from European regions

A debate was also held at the Intergroup meeting in which the impact of the Social Economy in the regions was verified. In it, the Minister of Employment, Research and Universities of the Region of Murcia, Miguel Motas Guzmán , explained the relevant role of the Social Economy in this region, emphasizing the strength in the creation and maintenance of employment in rural areas , as well as in the implementation of business transformations from mercantile companies into Social Economy companies. Motas pointed out "that there are many reasons why a government should bet on this business model present in all economic sectors". During his speech he emphasized the fundamental weight of cooperative teaching,that supposes 50% of the concerted education.

The ministers of the Government of the Brussels region, Bernard Clerfaytel and Barbara Trachte, or the Director General of the Regional Center for Social Policy of the Eastern Pomerania Region, Shivan Fate, also participated.

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