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Home > News > CEPES and the Union for the Mediterranean work with the European Commission to promote the Social Economy as a lever for the social and economic recovery of the Mediterranean after the Pandemic


CEPES and the Union for the Mediterranean work with the European Commission to promote the Social Economy as a lever for the social and economic recovery of the Mediterranean after the Pandemic

26 06 2020

The meeting was attended by, among others, the secretary general of the UfM, Nasser Kamel, the commissioner of Employment and Social Rights of the European Commission, Nicolas Schmit, the minister of Social Economy of Morocco, Nadia Fetah Alaui, the secretary of state of Employment and Social Economy of the Government of Spain, Joaquín Rey and the head of the OECD Social Economy and Innovation Unit, Antonella Noya, together with the President of CEPES, Juan Antonio Pedreño.

• In an online event organized by the Union for the Mediterranean (UpM) in collaboration with the German Society for International Cooperation and the Spanish Business Confederation of Social Economy (CEPES).

• In this organized online event, which had the support of the Euro-Mediterranean Network of Social Economy (ESMED) and Social Economy Europe, 100 people from 25 countries in the north and south of the Mediterranean took part.

• Spain was positioned as a benchmark for the development of a business network that in the entire Euro-Mediterranean region encompasses more than 3.2 million companies that employ 15 million people.

• The President of CEPES and Social Economy Europe, and General Coordinator of the ESMED Network, Juan Antonio Pedreño, asked the European Commission and the UfM to establish an ambitious program to promote business development in the Social Economy of Europe and the Mediterranean .


Barcelona, June 26, 2020.- The Spanish Business Confederation of the Social Economy (CEPES) and the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UpM) have addressed today in an online event with the Employment Commissioner, Nicolas Schmit and representatives of the role of social economy companies in the reconstruction of Europe and the Mediterranean following the pandemic, the European Commission together with the OECD and the governments of Algeria, Spain, Morocco and Tunisia.

Organized with the support of the Euro-Mediterranean Network and Social Economy Europe in coordination with social economy organizations, this event brought together 25 countries in the southern and northern Mediterranean, which have identified measures to place these companies in the center of the social and economic recovery plans to be adopted by the 43 governments that make up the Union for the Mediterranean and the European Union.

CEPES President Juan Antonio Pedreño recalled that the Social Economy constitutes a central part of the business fabric in the Euro-Mediterranean region with more than 3.2 million companies and 15 million jobs that, in Pedreño's words, “ they have demonstrated during the health crisis the essential role they play in sustaining our societies in sectors vital to our economies. ”


The Social Economy must play a crucial role to get out of the crisis

Nasser Kamel, Secretary General of the UPM, stressed that: "The Social Economy has the capacity to face the injustices and socioeconomic inequalities that have been further deepened by the current world crisis, and has untapped potential to offer alternatives to future generations. With this in mind, the UfM will continue to promote greater technical and financial business cooperation in the social economy between both shores of the Mediterranean. "

The Commissioner for Employment, Nicolas Schmit said during the event that "it is important to prevent the economic crisis from turning into a social crisis that increases inequalities and destroys jobs and companies". In this sense, he pointed out that "the Social Economy is part of the solution." He noted that the Social Economy is very present in the Commission's Agenda, which is already preparing the European Action Plan for the Social Economy, where importance will be given to the international dimension of the Social Economy and to strengthening cooperation with the Mediterranean. Schmit pointed out the importance of digitization at the moment, which must be fair and accessible to all to use it to solve climate challenges and create jobs.

The Minister of Social Economy ofMorocco, Nadia Fettah Alaoui , recalled during her speech that this model represents 3% of the PIN in her country and 4.9% of employment, hoping that in 2030 this percentage will increase to 6%. The Minister explained the Solidarity Fund launched in Morocco to support health, companies and jobs. He advocated the need to “coordinate efforts to build a solid and strong Social Economy to promote this economic model throughout the Mediterranean in a sustainable way”.

The Secretary of State for Employment and Social Economy of Spain, Joaquín Rey stated that the Social Economy is a fundamental pillar of the production model not only for its contribution to GDP and employment but also for the values that characterize these companies that have known how to give a Outstanding response to the COVID crisis19, a response that has been inclusive and that has placed social welfare at the center. Rey took advantage of this meeting to expose the extraordinary and urgent measures of the Government of Spain towards the Social Economy, as well as the planned international initiatives of the Spanish presidency in the Monitoring Committee of the Declaration of Luxembourg in which 16 Government of the European Union.

Antonella Noya , head of the OECD's Social Economy and Innovation Unit, has valued the role this business model has had during the pandemic and the role it will play in the recovery. Therefore, Noya has called on all governments to implement national strategies to enhance it. "The Social Economy has risen to the level where there were not enough social services to mitigate the effects of the crisis." He noted that it is "the time to invest in this business model for its unquestionable contribution to employment and business creation worldwide."

Representatives of the Social Economy of Algeria, Tunisia, Turkey, Morocco, the Netherlands, France, Italy and the Republic of North Macedonia participated in the event to present the contribution of the Social Economy in their respective countries to the Pandemic and before the socio-economic recovery of the coming months.


Create a work agenda between Europe and the Mediterranean to unlock the full potential of the Social Economy as a lever for inclusive growth

Juan Antonio Pedreño, for his part, has demanded the urgent establishment of an ambitious initiative or program of cooperation between the south and north of the Mediterranean to promote companies and entities of the social economy.

“To overcome the complicated economic, social and health circumstances, we need the Social Economy to have an environment and measures both in the countries and also at the Euro-Mediterranean level, in order to give the best of ourselves. We need a favorable ecosystem that must be extended to all countries to develop it, ”said the highest representative of CEPES, ESMED and Social Economy Europe.

For Pedreño, it is a priority right now to create legal, institutional and financial instruments that support entrepreneurship collectively from the Social Economy because it is much more resilient than individual entrepreneurship. In Pedreño's opinion: “The Social Economy contributes to a sustainable reindustrialization and offers a career opportunity to many young people committed to a more caring and just world. This torrent of innovation must be taken advantage of so that the projects are replicable throughout the southern and northern Mediterranean ”.

Pedreño also stressed that the digitization of companies and entities of the Social Economy should be promoted . “There is no doubt that the future is digital. This crisis, in addition, has anticipated us even more, but it has also told us that it must be fair, inclusive, democratic and with quality jobs ”. The President of CEPES recalled that confinement has accelerated the digitization process by six years and that most companies have already begun their digitization processes to serve their customers and protect their employees. "The Social Economy cannot miss the train of digitization, nor can it cease to be the benchmark at the forefront of a more sustainable planet," he said, while stressing that betting on the Social Economy is supporting a model of sustainable growth. environmentally, people-centered, with companies that do not relocate, which enhance the care economy and strengthen the structure of the territories, promoting a just ecological and digital transition.

The President of CEPES also asked to strengthen public-private partnerships with the social economy to provide high-quality social and health services, promote financing instruments that help the Social Economy cushion the impact of the crisis and allow it to emerge from it, thus such as public policies and regulatory frameworks in the Euro-Mediterranean Region to promote SMEs in the Social Economy, welcoming the recent approval in Tunisia of the Law of Social and Solidarity Economy, which marks a new era for the Social Economy of this country.


It is time for the social economy

In addition, the President of CEPES recalled that the European Commission recently recognized the Social Economy as a priority of its proposal for specific funds for economic and social recovery endowed with 750,000 million euros, in addition to mentioning it as a fundamental model to ensure an exit of the crisis.

Pedreño has stated that "we have arguments to make it the moment for the Social Economy in the Mediterranean, with the experiences, initiatives that it has launched in all the Mediterranean countries and with the key role it is playing, as we will see from what throughout this morning. We have to work on an agenda and programs in strategic areas to promote this business model throughout the region. These are areas that are shared by the Social Economy of the south and north of the Mediterranean and which must form part of the future European Action Plan for the Social Economy that the Commission will adopt next year ”.

For its part, the director of CEPES, Carmen Comos , recalled that Social Economy companies, like the other companies, have also been seriously affected by the crisis. Comos has demanded the elimination of all the obstacles that limit the development of the Social Economy and that these companies take part in the construction of public measures to face the consequences of the crisis. In this sense, and as a conclusion of the event, it has invited the Union for the Mediterranean, the European Commission and national governments to establish with the Social Economy organizations such as CEPES, together with ESMED and Social Economy Europe, a structured dialogue space to work together on the conclusions of this event that will be announced in the coming days and will set up an ambitious roadmap to strengthen the Social Economy in the Euro-Mediterranean Region.


Union for the Mediterranean - UpM

Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is the official name of the international relations collaboration and development program that brings together the Member States of the European Union and the Mediterranean countries adopted during the inaugural Paris Summit for the Mediterranean held in the French capital on July 13, 2008 and whose foundations and objectives are found in the joint declaration of the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, signed by heads of state and government of 43 countries representing more than 756 million citizens .

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