Today, the EU Commission presented its roadmap for a social Europe to the European Parliament. The roadmap includes an action plan for the social economy. The Commission plans to present this action plan in 2021. As part of the nomination process of the new Commissioner for Social Affairs and Employment, Nicolas Schmit, I had spoken to him extensively about this action plan. Therefore, I am delighted that this action plan will see the light of day. This shows that the new Commission wants to make a difference for the social and solidarity economy.
Link to the Commission’s roadmap for a social Europe:
Link to the Commission’s press release:
The European Parliament’s Intergroup on Social Economy, of which I am co-chair, will have its constituent meeting next Tuesday, 21 January. The work for the social and solidarity-based economy in Europe will then also begin in the European Parliament. The European Parliament should now develop proposals for this action plan, in order to improve the framework conditions for all cooperatives and social enterprises in Europe. It is now the right time for organisations, companies and initiatives in the social and solidarity economy to make their suggestions as to what the EU can do to improve the framework conditions for social and ecological economics. This is especially true in the area of public procurement with social and ecological criteria. From now on, the Commission and the European Parliament are finally working on this.
Relevant section from today’s communication by the EU Commission
“Creating more jobs is about more than growth. This is all the more true for the social economy, which serves social needs. Some 13.6 million people work in the social economy in Europe. Social enterprises and organisations can generate engagement, initiatives and returns in local communities while bringing everyone closer to the labour market. The social economy provides innovative solutions in education, health care, energy transition, housing and the delivery of social services. It can also be a pioneer in local green deals by creating alliances in territories involving citizens and enterprises in the climate transition. The Commission will launch in 2021 an action plan for the social economy to enhance social investment and social innovation and boost the potential of social enterprises to create jobs, including for those furthest from the labour market. Socially responsible public procurement can also ensure that existing funds are spent in a way that supports inclusion by for example providing job opportunities for people with disabilities or at risk of poverty.”