From our representative body in Europe: Social Economy Europe Network

On 12 December 2019, the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliamentwill vote on which intergroups will be established for this EU mandate 2019-2024. This will be a decisive moment for the Social Economy in Europe, as we continue campaigning for the renewal of the Social Economy Intergroup to ensure European policies promote, boost and support the Social Economy in the EU.

We also need your help to make sure the Social Economy Intergroup is renewed, so make noise on social media, reach out to your MEPs and take action! Social Economy Europe has developed a one-pager you can use in your communications and your advocacy efforts.

On 20 November 2019, Social Economy Europe organised an event in the European Parliament, gathering MEPs and Social Economy actors, to discuss the importance of the re-establishment of the Intergroup and to exchange on the policy agenda for the new mandate. The event was attended by over 100 participants and 9 MEPs from the main political groups. We thank those of you who attended our event and in this way helped us deliver a clear signal that the social economy is present and committed to preserving the Intergroup – a space where MEPs, other EU institutions and Social Economy actors can dialogue and meet to find common solutions to challenges we face in the EU.

The Social Economy Intergroup received clear support from:

Patrizia Toia MEP S&D, Italy who said: “During this term we need to be more ambitious than ever! The  Social Economy Intergroup will be the driver of Social Economy policies.

Sven Giegold MEP Greens/EFA, Germany who called for a European Action Plan for the Social Economy, a close cooperation with Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit, and the EIB financing innovative Social Economy Projects. To achieve this, he reiterated the importance of renewing the Social Economy Intergroup.

Alicia Homs, MEP S&D, Spain who in her intervention said: “The Social Economy shows that growth and social progress can co-exist and support each other” and in this sense we have to renew the Social Economy Intergroup to promote this convergence.

Jordi Cañas MEP Renew Europe, Spain who gave a strong message on the Social Economy, saying it is an expanding social reality, built through shared values such as the primacy of the person and commitment to sustainable development. It humanises globalisation and takes on the commitment to work together to make a better world. For this we need a Social Economy Intergroup, which he said enjoyed the full support of the Spanish Renew Europe Delegation.

Leopoldo López, MEP EPP, Spain who in his video message stated that “Europe needs the social economy to connect its citizens with their real needs and involve them in the creation of innovative solutions to many diverse challenges as unemployment, social exclusion, discrimination, lack of both social and territorial cohesion”.

Manon Aubry MEP GUE/NGL, France, who left us a video message where she stressed the importance of renewing the Social Economy Intergroup to boost the Social Economy as a driver of achieving an economy that works for people and the planet.

Pierre Karleskind MEP Renew Europe, France who expressed the urgency of renewing the Intergroup, “Time is ticking to renew the intergroup for Social Economy in the European Parliament” underlining “the necessity to better integrate social economy in our single market, with tailor-made legislation”.

Monica Semedo MEP, Renew Europe, Luxembourg who called for the renewal of the Social Economy Intergroup as a way to support enterprises and organisations at the forefront of social innovation, sustainable development and inclusion in her video message for the event.

Ulla Engelmann, Head of Unit at European Commission (DG Grow), who recapped the work carried out by the Commission to promote the Social Economy in the internal market through for instance socially responsible public procurement and the European Social Economy Regions (ESER) Programme. She also recognised the importance of the Intergroup as a means of intra-institutional dialogue and dialogue with Social Economy actors.

Sylvie Guillaume MEP, S&D, France who stressed that Social Economy enterprises are not a niche, on the contrary they are a major socio-economic force in the EU, that should be promoted to build a more sustainable future.

The event also counted with the participation of SEE President Juan Antonio Pedreño and of SEE Vice-Presidents Jerome Saddier, Patrizia Bussi and Alain Coheur who called for the renewal of the Social Economy Intergroup as a fundamental body to mainstream the social economy in EU policies and set up and implement a European Action Plan for the Social Economy. They also stressed that the Social Economy is aligned the demands of EU citizens of a more responsible democratic and transparent economy.

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