The Role of Social Economy in a fair and sustainable recovery and the future action plan

EESC the role of social economy in a fair and sustainable recovery logo

(19 February 2021) Governments have agreed that the social economy enterprises should play a role in the recovery and can benefit from EU funds. The European Commission will be proposing an Action Plan on the Social Economy this year. To prepare an input into this Action plan the Portuguese presidency asked the European Economic and Social Committee to prepare on opinion. The EESC represents workers, employers and many social economy organisations. EPSU’s General Secretary was invited to contribute to the debate in a hearing 17 February. EPSU represents many workers in the social economy especially in health and care and in utilities.  He welcomed the valuable work social economy workers are doing and recalled how many working in health and care, mostly women and especially in care with low pay, were impacted by Covid19.

Contributing to the discussion on the Opinion of the EESC he made 4 points:

Other speakers were from the European Parliament Social Economy Intergroup MEP Sven Giegold, from Social Economy Europe, the European Commission and BusinessEurope, who called Social Economy the subsidized sector and seeks to prevent what it calls unfair competition.

For more on the event of the European Economic and Social Committee, the speakersand on the Opinion of the EESC 

The Opinion is foreseen for April.  The Economic and Social Committee has published a Report with various opinions and developments

The main driver is Social Economy Europe which also wants to be represented in the cross-sectoral social dialogue. It has made a series of Proposals for the Social Economy Action Plan.

ETUC is part of the Stand Up for Social Pillar Alliance which includes Social Economy Europe. The Alliance calls for an ambitious Action Plan implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Member States that support the Social Economy agreed the Toledo Declaration end 2020.

The European Parliament has an active intergroup on the Social Economy serviced by Social Economy Europe with cross party membership  

Promoting the Social Economy and finding suitable instruments to do its work have a long history and there are various resolutions of the European Parliament

The European Commission has an active section in DG Grow on the Social Economy and supports the Expert group on social economy and social enterprises (GECES) (2018-2024)  

There is a link with the discussions on Social investment. For one academic publication and the European trade Union Institute looked at the earlier social investment pact of the Commission and the financing of the European Pillar of Social Rights.