Social Economy Europe, the EU-level platform for the social economy, is glad to present its Whithe Paper: Social Economy: Taking back the initiative. The paper, developed by Social Economy Europe jointly with the members (among them REVES), contains proposals to make the social economy become a real pillar of the European Union.
The paper is split in three different chapters: chapter 1, The social economy at the heart of European challenges; chapter 2, The social economy in facts and chapter 3, Taking back the initiative (containing concrete proposals to EU institutions.
This White Paper aims to shed light on the reality of the European social economy. There are more than 2 million social economy enterprises in the European Union , 10% of all European enterprises. Social economy enterprises employ over 11 million people (6% of the EU's employees). Social economy enterprises operate in all sectors of the economy: social services, healthcare, insurance, banking, agriculture, renewable energies, recycling, housing sector, education, tourism, sport etc.
The paper clearly defines the social economy that cannot be confused with an imprecise concept which would imply that any business with some kind of social aim could belong to the social economy. The undifferentiated use of different concepts (social entrepreneurship, social enterprises, corporate social responsibility or social business) hampers the consistent and amitious development of the social economy at EU level .
Finally Social Economy Europe makes concrete proposals to EU institutions, particularly to the European Commission, to develop and Action Plan in favour of the development of the social economy: A Social Economy Initiative.