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Home > News > The Mannheim Declaration reinforces the role of the Social Economy in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan Funds

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The Mannheim Declaration reinforces the role of the Social Economy in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan Funds

07 06 2021

Last week the European Social Economy Summit was held, in collaboration with the European Commission and with the support of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth of Germany. The summit was held in 2021 after having had to be postponed due to the pandemic in 2020, when Germany held the presidency of the Council of the EU. It brought together more than 3,000 participants. The Summit was a demonstration of the strength of the Social Economy, its diversity and ability to drive positive change and build a better future for Europe. Furthermore, the resulting Declaration reinforces the role of the Social Economy in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan Funds, in the Cohesion Funds (ESF Plus and ERDF) and in InvestEU.

• The document was the result of the European Summit of Social Economy (EUSES), held in the German city in collaboration with the European Commission and with the support of the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, the Elderly, Women and Youth of Germany.

• The president of Social Economy Europe pointed out that “the European Summit on Social Economy has been a demonstration of the strength of the Social Economy, its diversity and capacity to promote positive change and build a better future for Europe”.

• The Summit brought together more than 3,000 participants representing the diversity of the Social Economy in Europe. The Declaration will be incorporated into the preparations for the European Action Plan for the Social Economy, which will be approved by the European Commission in November 2021.

 

Madrid, June 7, 2021.- The Mannheim Declaration on Social Economy reinforces the role of the Social Economy in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan Funds , in the Cohesion Funds (FSE Plus and ERDF) and in InvestEU .

The document was the result of the European Summit on Social Economy (EUSES), held on May 26 and 27 in the city of Mannheim (Germany), in collaboration with the European Commission and with the support of the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs. Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth from Germany. The summit was held in 2021 after having had to be postponed due to the pandemic in 2020, when Germany held the presidency of the Council of the EU.

During the event, which was carried out in a hybrid way and brought together more than 3,000 participants representing the diversity of the Social Economy in Europe , said declaration was adopted, which will be incorporated into the preparations for the European Action Plan for the Social Economy , which will be approved by the European Commission in November 2021.

Among other representatives, the summit included the intervention of the Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, who stressed that “ the Social Economy should have a place at the table to co-design and implement the main EU policies such as the Plan of Social Economy Action, but also the Action Plan of the European Pillar of Social Rights, the Green Pact and the European Health Union, among other important initiatives ”.

For his part, the president of Social Economy Europe and CEPES, Juan Antonio Pedreño, stated that “the European Social Economy Summit has been a demonstration of the strength of the Social Economy, its diversity and capacity to promote positive change and build a better future for Europe, making the promise of Just Transitions a reality. Now is our time to grow. To achieve this, greater cooperation and networking between the different actors of the Social Economy is necessary. It is time to draw up a good action plan that can really boost the Social Economy and inspire many European citizens. The Social Economy is a key force for a better future for Europe ”.

Likewise, during the conference it became clear that, as the European Skills Agenda has already pointed out, the Social Economy is one of the 14 key industrial ecosystems for the recovery of Europe, and that it will be fundamental to implement industrial policies and SMEs in the European Union.

In addition, all member states and agents that are part of the Social Economy were invited to make the most of the opportunity provided by the funds of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan </ strong>, and the cohesion funds (ESF Plus and ERDF) and InvestEU .

 

MAIN POINTS OF THE DECLARATION

1. Legal and regulatory framework

The European Commission should propose specific guidance to Member States, leading to a common understanding of the concept of the Social Economy, while recognizing the local differences that contribute to its richness and diversity. The development of adequate legal, regulatory and fiscal frameworks must arise from the national and local environments in which companies and organizations of the Social Economy operate.

 

2. Visibility and awareness

Through the initiative of the European Social Economy Regions (ESER), the European Commission is increasing visibility and awareness in relation to the Social Economy and is creating regional and local networks of Social Economy agents. The European Commission is invited to reinforce this initiative within the framework of the Action Plan for the Social Economy by proposing the adhesion of other interested regions, cities and municipalities. Current research should be consolidated and new research supported, including the collection of national statistical data.

 

3. Recognition and consumer demand

Social Economy companies need greater recognition among citizens for the work they do and their contribution to society. A reflection on certifications could be initiated to promote the recognition of products, services and companies and highlight the role of the Social Economy in tackling social challenges.

 

4. Networks

The COVID-19 crisis calls for a rebalancing of efficiency and resilience across the economy. The Social Economy can do more than repair social problems. It can lead to a transformation towards a more inclusive and sustainable world. Public policy agents at different levels of governance should develop appropriate instruments, both on the supply side and on the demand side, to create an integrated environment that enables the execution of finances. Member States should also take advantage of Next Generation EU instruments to mobilize public and private investment in order to promote the development of the Social Economy.

 

5. European cross-border collaboration

The European Commission, Member States, regions and local authorities must promote collaboration between Social Economy organizations and companies from all countries and sectors. The European Commission and Member States should, for example, continue to promote socially responsible public procurement through training and the exchange of best practices in Europe.

 

6. Finance and investment

At the national, regional and local levels, cooperation between agents of the Social Economy should be strengthened through the development of networks. It is important that stakeholders at all levels of governance are heard in the processnational public policy formulation. Social Economy agents should also create partnerships with public authorities or other private agents to expand the impact and test new solutions for an ecological and digital transition. The Social Economy should complement the public approach to face social challenges, but not replace it.

 

7. Recovery

The Social Economy is a pioneer in the identification and application of social innovation and alternative ways of organizing economic activities. Many of these innovations have been incorporated and adopted by the rest of the economy (such as fair trade and ethical finance). Social Economy companies can scale up social innovation to address pressing environmental and social challenges by focusing on social impact and working with local stakeholders. Concrete policy measures, in the form of adequate legal frameworks, incentives, and access to finance are needed to support these startups to develop social experimentation.

 

8. Market access

The Social Economy is especially attractive to young people, as it creates new job opportunities, but also new avenues for personal development and creativity. Few schools emphasize the principles of the social economy such as self-responsibility, democracy, and equality. These models should be taught in education at all levels (primary, secondary, university, professional) in order to develop competencies, reinforce skills and ensure that young people are prepared for careers in this field.

 

9. Education

The Social Economy has played an important role in addressing and mitigating the short and long-term impacts of the Covid-19 crisis on the economy and society. In the short term, its actors have provided innovative solutions that strengthen public services and complement the action of governments to face the pandemic. In the long term, the Commission should create an environment that enables these companies to be a pillar of the new European Health Union, which is currently being developed.

 

10. Implementation and ownership

The adoption of a coherent and holistic framework to support the emergence and consolidation of the Social Economy is essential to maximize social and economic impact. Policies themselves are very important, but policymaking processes are just as critical. The European Commission, as well as those responsible for public policies at different levels of governance, are invited to work in different political portfolios to develop appropriate actions to promote the development of the sector. The preparation of the formulation of public policies should be carried out in close cooperation with the agents of the Social Economy for greater coherence of policies and greater effectiveness.

You can access the full statement here .