European conference “New to the game: (Up)Skilling young people through gamified approaches”

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Due to a variety of factors, today’s labour environment is becoming more complex, uncertain and competitive. Recent graduates and young people in general are the most affected social group: according to Eurostat, the youth unemployment rate in September 2021 was 15, 9 % for the EU and 16 % for the euro area.

One of the reasons behind youth unemployment is a skills mismatch between the skills requested by employers and the skills young applicants possess?

This situation requires urgent action to which the European Commission reacted, amongst other initiatives, by launching the Pact for Skills, a shared management model for skills development in Europe. Social and proximity economy is one of the industrial sectors the Pact will focus on.

During the last years, efforts have been made also to improve the capacity of the vocational education and training sector to take into account the specificities and potential of the social economy through alliances and partnerships with many organisations.

The project “Competences for effective labour market entry”, led by the Italian cooperative Demetra Formazione and financed by the Erasmus+ programme, focused mainly on the identification of needs and the acquisition, by young people, of competencies in terms of soft skills.

The initiative was also an opportunity to further test the potential of using gamified training approaches.

You will find the programme of the event here.

Should you wish to participate in the conference, please register following this link.

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European conference “Social Economy, the future of Europe” – Our workshops

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The European conference “Social Economy, the future of Europe” that will be held under the French EU Presidency on 5 and 6 May 2022 in Strasburg is approaching.

REVES, together with other national, European and international organisations, has been associated to the preparation of the event.

Beyond the coordination and animation of the thematic space “Territories and public policies” and the contribution of REVES President Ana Umbelino to the closing plenary of the event, REVES will take part in the event also as a co-organiser of the following workshops in which several of our members will share their experiences:

A life beyond public procurement: Competition, can we take a step aside?

6 May, 9.15-10.45 (Room Londres 1)

In a European regulatory framework organised around competition, actors and public authorities are innovating and inventing other modes of relations and economic development. They are focusing on cooperation to meet the many challenges facing territories and their inhabitants: co-programming, shared administration, territorial poles of economic cooperation, the common good approach, etc.

Why rely on cooperation? Shouldn’t the pursuit of the general interest be the guiding principle of political action? What is possible under EU rules, including state aid rules and the public procurement directive? What do we see from experiments with new approaches to cooperation in different EU member states? How can we change the paradigm? Based on European examples at national, regional and local levels, this workshop will decrypt what is possible and formulate proposals.

Co-organised in cooperation with RTES, Euricse-Terzjus and SEP-UNSA

With the contribution of:

Gianluca Salvatori, Euricse/Terzjus (IT)

Françoise Castex, former President of the Public services intergroup of the European Parliament, former Secretary-General, SEP-UNSA (FR)

Pierre Roth, City Council, City of Strasburg (FR)

Josep Vidal i Fàbrega, General Director for Social and Solidarity Economy, Third Sector and Cooperatives, Region of Catalonia (ES)

Margitta Haertel, Stiftung Pfefferwerk (DE)

Séverine Carboni, Charlieu Belmont Communauté (FR)

Giulia Galera,  Cooperative Miledù (IT)

Which local and regional social economy-related policies to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow ?

Crossing views of researchers and local politicians

 

6 May, 11am-1pm (Room Londres 1)

This interactive and prospective debate will bring together European local government officials and academics working on social economy-related public policies.

Which priority issues for tomorrow? What links between regional SSE policies and European policies and tools? What are the perspectives of local and regional SSE policies in the framework of the Green Deal and the European action plan for the social economy?

Co-organised in cooperation with RTES and the city of Barcelona

With the contribution of:

Jean-Louis Laville, Professor at Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers à Paris (Cnam), Holder of the Social Economy Chair (FR)

Mahel Coppey, Vice-President of  SSE Nantes Métropole (FR)

Ana Umbelino, Vice-Mayor of the City of Torres Vedras and REVES President (PT)

Alvaro Porro, Commissioner for Social Economy, City of Barcelona

Mikel Irujo, Minister for Economic Affairs, Navarra region (ES)

Paulina Stochnialek, Board Wielkopolska Region (PL)

Timothée Duverger, Councillor Mayor of Bordeaux and Political Science researcher (FR)

Social economy and its potential for rural development in Europe 

6 May 2022, 11am-1pm (Thematic area “Territories and public policies”)

 

The social economy and its actors, by initiating community-based actions that rely on the power of action of the inhabitants, bring a lot of answers to the challenges and needs of rural territories (characterised, beyond their diversity, by low population density): challenges regarding mobility, food, digital inclusion, sustainable housing, revitalization of territories, maintenance of services, maintenance of the last local shop, functional diversity of territories, etc.

What are the levers of support for the development of this economy in these territories? What forms of community action should be implemented, mobilised by local public actors and SSE actors? Which European policies could back these processes?

Based on the testimonies of both, public authorities and SSE actors from different European rural territories, the workshop will seek to highlight the conditions to be met at the European, national and local levels to promote sustainable development of rural territories in partnership with social economy actors.

Co-organised in cooperation with RTES, Avise, DIESIS and PETR Pays de Langres

With the contribution of:

Anastasia Costantini, DIESIS
Bérengère Daviaud, Avise
Antonio Ferigo, Social Cooperative Cadore (IT)
Claudia Petrescu, Center for Not For Profit Law (RO)
Jérôme Saddier, président d’ESS France et de l’Avise et vice-président de Social economy Europe (FR) (tbc)
Nadège Savard, chargée de mission PETR Pays de Langres (FR)
Floriane Vernay, Avise

 

Website of the conference (registration is possible here): Click here

 

AGORA Coop: the ANDREIA project towards the integration of victims of human trafficking

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human trafficking is one of the most odious criminal phenomena of our time, exacerbated by wars and the need for many people to flee  from their own  homes.

Trafficking is the word for modern slavery covering mainly sexual and labour exploitation of women and children, but also men. With over 40 million enslaved people in the World, the situation becomes worst after every crisis, with ingenious criminals taking advantage of people in need. It is duty of the civilised world to fight this inhuman crime and support the victims.

REVES’ member Agora, from Italy, together with partners from Estonia, Germany, Spain and Greece, developed the ANDREIA project, supported by the AMIF programme from the European Union, aimed at  effectively promoting the integration of third-country nationals, victims of human trafficking , into the host societies in order to find durable solutions.

One of the results was the production of a series of webinars on the topic, based on interviews and sharing of experiences.

The webinars are published here, in Italian with English subtitles (except the first one, for which translation is not yet available)

Ukraine: Cohesion Policy Funds for emergency support to refugees

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On 8 March 2022 the European Commission adopted a proposal for Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE) allowing Member States and regions to provide emergency support to people fleeing from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

CARE is introducing the necessary flexibility in the 2014-2020 Cohesion policy rules to allow a swift reallocation of available funding to such emergency support. On top, the 2022 envelope of €10 billion of the Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe (‘REACT-EU’) funds can also be used to address these new demands within the overall aim of post-pandemic recovery.

Examples of emergency support

CARE will help Member States to provide emergency support covering the basic needs of people fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. These needs include access to services such as temporary accommodation, food and water supplies or medical care. CARE may also enhance the administrative capacity of Member States to cater for the needs of refugees by supporting e.g. additional infrastructure equipment or staff necessary to cater for the needs of refugees. Moreover, Member States may use this funding to develop tailor-made solutions for the long-term integration of people with a migrant background through investments in housing, education, employment, health, social inclusion and care, or other social services. Cohesion policy support will complement the support from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and other funding sources. The Commission is also proposing today to prolong the implementation period for the money available to Member States under the 2014-2020 Home Affairs funds, which would release around €420 million in additional support.

An exceptional instrument for exceptional circumstances

CARE introduces four main changes to cohesion policy rules to maximise the speed and ease with which Member States can help people fleeing Ukraine, while continuing to support regions’ recovery:

  • To ease national budgetary pressures, notably due to the extended impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the possibility of 100% EU co-financing for 2014-2020 Cohesion policy funding will be extended for the accounting year 2021-2022;
  • Member States and regions will have the possibility to use resources from either the European Fund for Regional Development (ERDF) or the European Social Fund (ESF) for any type of measures to support people fleeing Ukraine. Thanks to this flexibility either fund will also be able to support projects even if these would normally be funded by the other one;
  • Member State spending on all actions helping people fleeing Ukraine will be eligible for EU support retroactively as of the start date of the Russian invasion (24 February 2022);
  • The reporting and the programme notification adoption will be simplified.

Next steps

The proposed amendments of the Common Provisions Regulation and the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived Regulation require adoption by the European Parliament and the Council. 

For more information:

https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/newsroom/news/2022/03/03-08-2022-ukraine-cohesion-funding-to-support-people-fleeing-russia-s-invasion-of-ukraine

Conference on the Future of Europe: Side event on social economy

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A side event to the Conference on the Future of Europe focusing on the social economy will take place on 10 March 2022 in Strasbourg and online from 6pm to 7.30pm CET.

The Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) cannot ignore the model of economic governance created by the social economy. Its existence is based on historical foundations anchored in many European countries where it is both a social and an entrepreneurial dynamic. In some other countries, it is the subject of renewed interest. The European Commission is devoting an action plan to it to unleash its full potential. The European Parliament has already dedicated many reports to it, but today it is necessary to take further steps. The social economy must be promoted in the work of the CoFoE, for its values and democratic principles, for its entrepreneurial diversity and for its role in enhancing active citizenship.

This event will be based on exchanges between pairs formed around 6 topics of the Conference on the future of Europe. Each pair will be composed of an institutional actor involved in the work of the CoFoE and an actor from the SSE.

Page of the event: https://www.eesc.europa.eu/en/agenda/our-events/events/social-economy-future-europe.

Link to follow the debate remotely: https://www.eesc.europa.eu/en/agenda/our-events/events/social-economy-future-europe/webstream

Strasbourg Social Economy Conference partially postponed

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Due to the pandemic, the event “Social Economy, the future of Europe” (initially planned for 17 and 18 February 2022) has been partially postponed.
The planned meeting of the High-level monitoring committee of the Luxemburg declaration (i.e. representatives of governments of EU Member States), a presentation – by videoconference – of the European Social Economy Plan as well as a debate regarding a contribution to the Conference on the Future of Europe will still be maintained.
However, all other conferences, workshops and thematic areas will take place on 5 and 6 May 2022 in Strasbourg.
More information here and on the following website: https://www.economiesociale-futur.eu/fr/economiesocialefutur

REVES: Continuous work on a conducive (legal) ecosystem for the social economy

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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:

  1. improving mutual learning concerning the legal frameworks to the Social Economy as a whole;
  2. identifying the common principles of the legal frameworks of Social Economy entities (cooperatives, mutuals, associations, foundations, social enterprises, etc);
  3. 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.

The European Social Economy Action Plan 2021-2030 is out

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On 9 December 2021 the European Commission published the Social Economy Action Plan 2021-2030.

The document is built around three priority areas:

  1. Business environment (incl. stimulating appropriate legal frameworks at different level, taxation, etc.);
  2. Opportunities and building capacities (incl. enhancing access to funding, support to capacity-building for the sector, public administration, etc.);
  3. 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.

Region of Navarra (ES): Second Integral Social Economy Plan 2021-2024

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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.

For more information: https://gobiernoabierto.navarra.es/es/participacion/procesos/ii-plan-integral-economia-social-2021-2024

 

Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions: A Handbook for collaboration with social enterprises

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“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.

It contains:

– 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.