Also in 2021 REVES continued its work on a conducive (legal) eco-system for the social and solidarity economy. Legal frameworks stood at the centre of an internal REVES working group composed of several REVES member regions and cities. The working group met several times in-between October 2020 and January 2021 to exchange on existing legal frameworks and current developments with specific focus on topics such as the definition of the social economy; statistics; methods and instruments for dialogue and cooperation between public authorities and the social economy; financial support; etc.
This work found continuation in a series of moments of international exchange realized in the framework of the “Legal Ecosystems for Social Economy- Peer Learning Partnership” (PL4SE – PLP), co-led by the Spanish Federation of Cooperatives CEPES and REVES aisbl, with partners representing amongst others governments and/or social economy platforms from Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, U.S.A. and India, but also DIESIS, Social Economy Europe and CIRIEC international.
The PL4SE project aimed to support the development of favourable legal ecosystems by:
- improving mutual learning concerning the legal frameworks to the Social Economy as a whole;
- identifying the common principles of the legal frameworks of Social Economy entities (cooperatives, mutuals, associations, foundations, social enterprises, etc);
- exchanging practices on the mainstreaming of social economy in key socioeconomic policies at national, subnational and international levels.
The initiative was realized in the context of the OECD Global Action on “Promoting Social and Solidarity Economy Ecosystems” financed by the European Union’s Foreign Partnership Instrument whose main objective is to share knowledge and promote learning to support the social economy.
Papers will be published shortly. Links will be available on the REVES website and here: https://www.cepes.es/web/SECCION-1-LegalEcosystems-InternationalConsortium
Legal framework-related questions, but also other aspects fostering a favourable eco-system and support for the development of the social economy were also discussed in the context of the RESET (Regions for Social Economy Business Development) project, which ran from February to November 2021. Several webinars and virtual study visits brought together lead partner Accio, the business support agency of Catalonia region, REVES, Region Östergötland (SE) and Pobal (IR) to analyse policies and practices from Catalonia, Sweden and Ireland, but also other EU Member States together with social economy organisations, policy-makers and academics. The initiative was supported by the Social Economy Missions initiative of the European Commission and the COSME programme. The European Commission will publish main results shortly.
On 9 December 2021 the European Commission published the Social Economy Action Plan 2021-2030.
The document is built around three priority areas:
- Business environment (incl. stimulating appropriate legal frameworks at different level, taxation, etc.);
- Opportunities and building capacities (incl. enhancing access to funding, support to capacity-building for the sector, public administration, etc.);
- Awareness and recognition (incl. collection of data on the social economy in the EU, initiatives targeting specifically youngsters, etc.).
Among the main actions listed in the document are, for example (list not exhaustive!):
- an initiative by the European Commission to encourage Council Recommendations regarding the improvement of policy and legal frameworks;
- the establishment of an EU Social Economy Gateway as a kind of one-stop shop providing comprehensive information on EU policies relevant to the social economy, different type of funding, project opportunities and other initiatives around the social economy or
- the creation of a European Competence Centre for Social Innovation.
Actions around the topic ‘access to funding’ focus very much on the mobilization of private investment in the social economy – e.g. through InvestEU – but also on the promotion of partnerships between the social economy and other type of enterprises (private procurement).
With regard specifically to local and regional authorities, the European Commission announced, amongst other initiatives, the organization of a number of “webinars and workshops as of 2022 for public officials based on mapping exercises, collection and exchange of good practices in relation to various policy fields such as State aid, taxation, social investment, business transfers to employees, labels and certification systems, social impact measurement”. Also, further training on social public procurement or a continuation of the European Social Economy Regions are planned.
The Action Plan was published together with a Commission Staff Working document providing further explanations on characteristics of the social economy landscape in Europe; on the pathway that led to the development of the Plan, including results of and EC reactions to the consultation process (reference to REVES proposals is made, for example, on page 32) as well as information on the EU budget that will be mobilized to support the social economy in the 2021-2027 period.
Finally, a second Commission Staff Working document on “Scenarios towards co-creation of a transition pathway for a more resilient, sustainable and digital Proximity and Social Economy industrial ecosystem” includes reflections and proposals (not the official position of the European Commission!) on how to engage the European Commission, but also national governments, regions and cities and finally the social economy itself in the realization of concrete actions.
The documents can be found here.
The Region of Navarra, on 22 September 2021, adopted its Second Integral Social Economy Plan 2021-2024. The Plan is line with the priorities of the Reactivate Navarra Plan – which includes under priority 3 “innovative entrepreneurship and social economy” the commitment to “providing greater resources to the Second Integral Social Economy Plan” – but also with objectives of the S3 Strategy and Agenda 2030 (SDGs).
The Plan is articulated around five strategic lines:
1. Persons (e.g. stimulating the improvement of working conditions also in the social economy, training and employability or worker buy-outs);
2. Companies and organisations (e.g. support to the creation and consolidation of enterprises and organisations; encouraging the use of the cooperative model in sectors such as agrifood, improving access to finance and stimulating investments, support to companies facing generational changeover, promoting cooperation among social economy enterprises);
3. Sector (e.g. strengthening networks, supporting innovation; support to digital transition; improving the regulatory environment; enhancing cooperation between the social economy and public authorities)
4. Society and Territory (e.g. promoting the participation of the social economy in strategic projects and territorial plans; promoting the development of new social economy-based consumption models)
A fifth strategic line – linked to the promotion of gender equality – runs transversally through all other strategic lines. Also, a specific practical guide has been developed to facilitate the application of the gender perspective in the design, implementation and evaluation of the different actions.
Under the third strategic line, the Region also expresses its commitment to an active participation in REVES and Social Economy Europe.
The plan has been elaborated in close cooperation with the social economy and all its different families.
“New pathways to innovative welfare solutions” is the title of a publication issued by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions.
So far, (cooperation with the) social economy in Sweden has very much been associated to the field of work integration. However, an increasing number of public authorities now see a need to better build on the potential of the social economy in general and in all its diversity to contribute to the creation of welfare at local level.
The handbook has the objective to provide guidelines to Swedish local and regional authorities on how to engage in successful partnerships with the social economy.
– references to the definition of ‘social economy’ in Sweden and the Swedish national strategy for social enterprises;
– testimonies by different Swedish municipalities on the benefits of cooperating with social economy enterprises;
– guidelines regarding processes and structures within a municipality or region that might favour successful cooperation with the social economy;
– tips regarding the establishment of sustainable processes and structures of cooperation with the social economy;
– guidelines on financing and procurement;
– examples of Swedish social (economy) enterprises;
– reading recommendations.
The guide has been published in Swedish and English. The English version is available here.
14 December 2021, 10.30 am – 1 pm CET
The objective of this webinar is to deepen exchange on the role of the social economy in creating new models of local development which link sustainable agriculture and the promotion of short supply chains with social inclusion and community empowerment.
A specific focus will be put on:
- (innovative) models of mutualization of resources between producers;
- Initiatives set up by young farmers;
- a new form of social economy organization involving a diversity of public and social private players;
- partnerships with other type of social economy and citizen initiatives (including culture).
Places are limited.
You will find more information here.
Social and solidarity economy from all over Europe, but also policy-makers, civil society, researchers and others will meet on 17 and 18 February 2022 in Strasburg to discover and take hold of the European Commission’s social economy action plan (to be published on 8 December 2021), but also of the many other tools offered to social economy entrepreneurs to undertake, develop, innovate, and build the projects of tomorrow.
Participants will have the occasion to share views and experiences, but also to bring themselves in into future (policy) projects and dialogue with (European) policy-makers and networks via workshops, conferences, thematic spaces…
Whether it is about entrepreneurship, local development and partnership with local/regional authorities, innovation, transitions, you have the opportunity to propose your contribution!
Fill in the questionnaire which you will find here.
Registration for the Social Economy event of the year, the European Social Economy Summit, is still open and free! Click here for more information.
We will be happy to welcome you for the following sessions, co-organised by REVES:
The contribution of social economy to the achievements of ESF objectives: an untapped potential – 26 May, 11.30 am-1.00 pm
Starting from the analysis of the difficulties that social economy enterprises have encountered in accessing and implementing ESF funds, the workshop will debate the opportunities that sustainable development partnerships, simplification and legal and regulatory frameworks offer to untap the full potential of social economy in contributing to ESF objectives. The session will then discuss social economy in the new programming period under ESF+.
- Leda Stott, Partnership and Sustainable Development Specialist (ES)
- Cristiana Avenali, Specialist from Latium Region (IT)
- Luigi Martignetti, Secretary General, REVES
- Luca Santin, Simplification expert (IT)
- Valentina Caimi, Head of Employment, Entrepreneurship and Inclusion Unit, AEIDL (BE)
- Piotr Krasuski, Director of the ESF Department, Ministry for Regional Policy (PL)
- Jan Olsson, President, REVES
Tapping on the potential of the social economy to make socially responsible public procurement work – 27 May, 11.30 am-1.00 pm
Public procurement is an important instrument for public authorities to achieve policy objectives. Drawing on their social aim, the social economy can maximize the impact of public procurement policies and procedures. This workshop will encourage dialogue between contracting authorities and the social economy to share experiences, mainstream support structures and explore innovative approaches to make SRPP work.
The session has three thematic focuses:
- Delivering quality social services through an increased collaboration with the social economy within public procurement rules;
- Promoting the integration of disadvantaged persons through reserved contracts and employment clauses;
- Innovation in public procurement to fully bring out its social potential.
- Ms Valentina Caimi (AEIDL)
- Mr Massimo Molgora, Municipality of Brescia (IT)
- Anna Ciutat Coronado, Deputy Director General for Regulation and Supervision of Public Procurement, Directorate General for Public Procurement, Generalitat de Catalunya (ES)
- Ms Angelika Marning, Development Consultant Rummelig imidt (DE)
- Jenny Mehlitz, Attorney at Law GSK-Stockmann (DE)
- Ms Marie Boscher (DG GROW)
Platform cooperatives and their fundamental role in the context of recovery – Towards a people and planet-oriented digital transition in Europe – 27 May, 3.00 pm-4.30 pm
The Covid-related lockdowns have proven that territories need digital tools facilitating cooperation and mutualization.
Platformcoops are digital actors who differentiate themselves through values and practices inspired by Social Economy:
- democratic governance,
- fair sharing of the created value,
- particular care for users’ wellbeing – especially workers,
- ethical use of data,
- cooperation and mutualization between projects.
This workshop explores platformcoops as a critical lever to foster resilience and cooperation in and between European territories. It will investigate four main challenges for the dissemination of alternative platforms, based on the experience of four main field actors :
- How platform cooperatives ensure good working conditions to platform workers ? The example of Urbike (Logistics, Belgium)
- How platform cooperatives ensure that the data produced by the activities benefits the territories where they belong ? The example of Mobicoop (Car-pooling, France)
- How platform cooperatives ensure that the economic value generated by the activities benefits all local stakeholders ? The example of Fairbnb (Tourism, Italy)
- How open source technologies can provide easily scalable solutions for local resilience ? The example of the Open Food Network (local food systems, global)
- Nicole Alix, Coop des Communs/Co-Communs
- Renaud Sarrazin, Co-founder, Urbike (BE)
- Bastien Sibille, President, Mobicoop (FR)
- Jonathan Reyes, Co-founder, Fairbnb (IT)
- Bérengère Batiot, Open Food Network/Coop Circuit (FR)
Webinar, 28 April 2021, 2-5pm (CET)
Foundations and philanthropic organizations have some unique features in mobilizing resources (financial, human, intellectual ones) for the common good. Autonomy, flexibility, capacity to take risk and innovate, long-term vision distinguish them from public donors and other actors. Their potential in supporting social enterprises and achieving social impact does not merely reside in the quantity of the resources they make available, but also in their quality and the vast array of tools they can leverage (e.g. their endowment, their network of contacts, etc.).
Different in scope and focus, foundations, especially community foundations, have not only been working at a global and national level but also at the local one, to support, accompany and promote the development of communities.
But how have foundations and funders been supporting local social economy organizations so far? What challenges have they faced? Which is the unique role of community foundations, within the 2030 Agenda framework, in enhancing the development of local social economy and stimulate the transformative potential of communities? How can they connect the local and global level, undertaking local actions for the global good?
These are some of the questions that will be explored during this third and last seminar, organized by CEFEC (Social Firms Europe) and REVES in collaboration with Dafne – Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe and ECFI (European Community Foundation Initiative).
You will find the programme here.
Please register here.