EU Action Plan for the Social Economy: REVES position paper published!

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In the end of 2021 the European Commission will publish an Action Plan for the Social Economy.

The Plan will seek “to boost the contribution of social economy organisations to a fair and sustainable growth. It will enhance social investment, support social economy actors to start up, scale up, innovate and create jobs.”

It will “set out EU-level initiatives and calls for joint action by EU governments and relevant organisations”.

A public consultation on the Action Plan is currently running until 26 April 2021 and accessible here.

REVES is glad to share its position paper here.

Webinar series: Social economy stimulating the transformative potential of communities

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REVES, the European Network of Cities and Regions for the Social Economy, Assifero/Dafne – Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe, CEFEC Social Firms Europe and ECFI (European Community Foundation Initiative) are glad to invite you to a series of webinars.

Social economy organisations play a pioneering role in transition processes at local level – and therefore for Europe as a whole. However, their potential and alternative models still lack visibility and recognition in a number of areas, including green transition and circular economy or rural development.

These events will shed a stronger light on existing innovative practices and challenges, explore possibilities for new models of cooperation particularly between the social economy, public authorities and (community) foundations and discuss EU policy perspectives around the Recovery Plan and the new ESIF funding period.

16 April 2021, 9 am – 12.30am, “Participatory co-design of development strategies in rural and peripheral areas. Opportunities and Challenges”

The event will provide an insight in the role of the social economy as a partner for public authorities in the revitalisation of rural areas, newly emerging models of cooperation and innovative practices, but also the obstacles the various players are facing. Session II will focus particularly on initiatives in the cultural and creative sector. Finally, MEP Niklas Nienaβ and Laurent de Mercey, DG Regio, European Commission will join discussions around (upcoming) EU policies and initiatives that might help stimulating participation, creativity and innovation in rural areas.

Registration for the event of 16 April is possible here.

You will find the programme here.

28 April 2021, 2pm-5 pm, “Unlocking the potential of local action for global good. Foundations supporting local social economy for the 2030 agenda”

Save the date! More information to follow shortly.


24 March 2021, 2pm-5pm, “Employment and Growth – Green economy for improving employment”:

This seminar will focus on the role of the social economy (with a particular focus on work integration social enterprises) in green transition. Beside a number of testimonies by social economy practitioners from different EU Member States, also Miia Rossi-Gray, DG Employment, European Commission and MEP Dragos Pislaru will join the discussions.

You will find the programme here.

Event: “Projects of life and skills development: Different approaches to valuing parenting in work and life”

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Online seminar, 26 March 2021

For two years, public authorities, representatives of SMEs and the social economy, researchers as well as NGOs have been working on ways to facilitate work-life balance and (women) employment.

Among the results of the “Master Parenting in Work and Life” initiative, co-funded by the EaSI programme of the European Union, are a unique training programme for employees with care tasks, an online platform targeting specifically unemployed women, divers actions mobilizing employers or a collection of best practices of cities/regions and (social economy) enterprises, to name just a few.

This work confirmed once again the importance of cooperation and coordination between different players (policy-makers, administration, enterprises, civil society, families…) and policies.

During this final seminar participants will have the occasion to:

  • discover the final results of the MASP project;
  • explore possible synergies between different European initiatives and programmes including actions on the topics of work-life balance and (women) employment;
  • discuss perspectives for actions at European, national and local level in a period in which a number of strategies, programmes and policies around the Recovery and Resilience Fund, the European Structural and Investment Fund and the Action Plan around the Implementation of the Social Pillar are finalized.

Discover the programme here.

Register here.



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Despite all challenges and uncertainty at the beginning of this new year: local/regional governments and social economy enterprises won’t give up their vision of and initiatives for positive change and European solidarity. Here you are with a series of new year messages in which REVES Board members share their belief in the power of the social economy, partnership&cooperation and their projects for 2021. With all our best wishes for 2021!

Barbara Trachte – Brussels-Capital Region

Josep Vidal – Region of Catalonia

Bernard Clerfayt – Brussels-Capital Region

Ana Umbelino – City of Torres Vedras

Torbjörn Ahlin – Region Örebro län

Anita Jernberger – Region Östergötland


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Carola Carazzone_immagine[2][1]

Carola Carazzone, Secretary General of Assifero, the Italian association of grantmaking foundations and REVES’ member since 2020 elected President of DAFNE, the association that brings together 30 national associations from 28 countries across Europe, representing over 10.000 public-benefit foundations, big and small, who want to make a difference in society.

In her statement, reported below, Carola underlines the potentialities and the role that Europe, as a whole, has to play, especially in light of the pandemic and its consequences. Furthermore, she highlights the importance and the needs for the European philanthropy ecosystem to strengthen and achieve new collaborations with strategic partners across a wide variety of sector to shape a more inclusive, equal and sustainable Europe.

Today more than ever it is time for Europe to step up.” States Carola Carazzone “2020 has been a dreadful year and, at the same time, a year that has shown the extraordinary potential for Europe. The decade ahead of us needs a connected and effective European philanthropy ecosystem, able to contribute to and shape a more inclusive, equal and sustainable Europe. The pandemic has offered us a once-in-a lifetime opportunity: a powerful experience of collective empathy, of experiencing the meaning of humanity’s interconnectedness and interdependence and indivisibility with the planet. Dafne, representing collectively over 10.000 foundations, has a unique role to play in enabling, developing, accelerating and multiplying the collective impact of European philanthropy. I truly believe that Dafne can make a big difference in unlocking the huge potential that lies in private resources, including non-financial support, and in contributing to strategic partnerships of multisector stakeholders. It is a great honour for me to serve Dafne as its Chair standing on the

shoulders of my predecessor Felix Oldenburg and building on the courageous vision of the people

who served before me.”

Read the full news and statement on DAFNE website


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The UN Secretary General launched the UNiTE campaign, managed by UN WOMEN, to  prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls around the world.


REVES welcomes and joins this overarching effort, and supports the Six Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

Hereafter an article by Carola Carazzone, Secretary General of REVES’ member ASSIFERO, providing insigths and perspectices on the topic:  

25 years after the Beijing Platform for Action, data shows us enormous gaps in gender justice. The pandemic makes us fear for the worst. In the last 25 years, in Italy, the adoption of good laws was not followed by law enforcement and access to promotion and protection of women’s human rights. Even the Italian success celebrated in the 2020 EIGE report, if read carefully, is deceiving since it relates to a single indicator. Legal change wasn’t followed by social change. Implicit stereotypes, unconscious bias, cultural barriers, and taboos are preventing an open and uncomfortable conversation about toxic masculinity and cultural change. This ‘elephant in the room’ keeps us in the comfortable complacency of not being sexists, without compelling us to become vocally anti-sexists. Culture can play a major and permanent role in nudging this paradigm shift and making toxic masculinity no longer culturally acceptable. In a system change approach, culture can foster social imagination for both men and women and inspire, disseminate and protect social change from backlashes. Everyone is a changemaker, including strategic philanthropy and finance. Starting with mainstreaming gender and intergenerational justice in our own organizations… (continue reading)

An alternative approach to skills, employability and job creation: Women and territories at the centre

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Webinar, 12 November 2020, 10-12 am

Nothing brought them to light more clearly than the pandemic:

The essential needs of territories, on one hand (social services, mutual help, access to medical equipment, food…), but also the enormous – and often untapped – potential and capacities cities, regions and their inhabitants are able to mobilise in order to respond to these needs.

Women have been and continue playing a crucial role in society’s response to crisis situations – as often unpaid and sometimes even invisible managers of local emergency crisis centers and mutual aid networks, as (informal) caregivers and nurses, as (often unvoluntary) teachers of their children confined at home, to give just some examples.

At the same they have always had, according to studies, already before the crisis much greater difficulties than men to have their skills recognized and enter the labour market and are now particularly hit by unemployment.

Does our economy and society follow the right approach to skills assessment, skills development and job creation?

And if skills were developed and jobs created responding to the needs and building on the potential of territories/cities/regions and their inhabitants instead of mainly addressing the ‘needs of industry’?

This question will be at the centre of a webinar, which will be organised by REVES on 12 November 2020 (10-12 am) and focus specifically on women employment.

Input will be provided by:

- Mara Ghidorzi/Alda Fiordelli from Afolmet, a public employment&training agency in the Milan area (IT), which developed a new online tool enabling (unemployed) women to (re-)assess their transversal competences acquired in a variety of contexts and supporting their way (back) to the labour market;

- Antonin Gregorio, Director of Territoires Zero Chômeur de Longue Durée (Zero Long-Term Unemployed Territories) (FR) – a pilot initiative supported and recently extended by the French government, which has led to the creation of hundreds of new jobs based on a different approach to the assessment and valorisation of skills and (economic) participation;

Comments by Felix Rohn, Policy Officer at the European Commission (DG Employment&Social Affaires, Unit E.2 “Qualifications and Skills”) which is currently working on a number of actions around the European Skills Agenda and the Pact for Skills.

Register here.

International alliance supporting position paper on digital transition/platform cooperatives

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Digital transition is at the centre of proposals linked to the EU Recovery Plan, Cohesion Policy and other policies.

But do we know which direction this transition should follow?

A European alliance of commons activists, social economy networks and academics (La Coop des Communs – France ; Smart – Belgium ; Internet Interdisciplinary Institute of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya – Spain ; European Network of Cities and Regions for the Social Economy – REVES aisbl) and their partners (Coompanions – Sweden) have elaborated a position paper with proposals linked to the added value of platform cooperativism which has been co-signed by organisations such as the International Cooperative Alliance, Platform Cooperativism Consortium, Social Economy Europe or P2P Foundation.

You will find the position paper here.

The paper is still open to the signature of other organisations.

The EU Recovery Plan can be an important lever of change also in the platform economy.

This is the moment to draw the attention of EU policy-makers on the added value of a digital transition serving people and planet.

Gigantic players such as Amazon, Uber or AirBnb are about to monetize and “platformize” almost any aspect of people’s lives, including the most sensitive ones: personal opinions, daily activities, the functioning of democracies, the autonomy of states and the EU. Other digital start-ups follow their example.

Some alternatives, so-called « platform cooperatives », have emerged to develop alternative models in many sectors : provision of food, mobility, care, support of SMEs, tourism, IT, … They differentiate themselves through democratic governance, territorial links, a fair sharing of the created value, a particular care for users’ wellbeing, ethical use of data, specific attention to enhancing social utility and environmental protection, inter-cooperation between projects. They have proven their value for the resilience of territories once again in the framework of the covid19 crisis. An increasing number of cities and regions are developing partnerships with these platform coop initiatives.

However, a lot remains to be done so that platform coops can compete on a level playing field with dominant platforms and are able to attain sustainable economic models.

Webinar/Round table: Cooperation with the cultural sector as an important vector for societal change

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Friday, 16 October, 10-12 am

The cultural sector is certainly one of those sectors hit most by the pandemic.

Especially smaller initiatives – among them many social economy and community projects – experience problems getting back on their feet.

On the other hand, a number of cultural players have proven also in times of Covid their – inherent – capacity to create, to innovate, to create links between different parts of society and to mobilise.

They are or have become important partners also for cities and regions some of which stepped out of their role as simple (financial) promoter of culture by involving the sector into processes aiming to (re-) build resilient local communities – in cooperation with partners also from other sectors such as health, economy, architecture, ….

This webinar aims to present initiatives taken recently to support and cooperate with the cultural sector at local and regional level and to discuss ways to strengthen the role of arts&culture as important partners in the transition towards (socially) sustainable local communities all throughout Europe.

We are glad to welcome:

Ana Umbelino, City Councillor at the City of Torres Vedras (PT) who will share efforts by her city to support the (digital) creation and dissemination of cultural contents in pandemic times through the “Cultural Emergency” Programme and other actions.

Ola Jacobson, Office for Culture of Skåne Region which launched, in 2019, a process starting as a simple  participatory “urban lab” experimentation before becoming a tool to co-create policies and strategies for culture in the region.

Sascha Krebs, Capitol Mannheim (DE), who will provide us with an insight in the process that led to the creation of a support fund for culture which is implemented in cooperation with other players such as the community foundation Mannheim.

Register here.

CoR report “Impact of the social economy at local and regional level”

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The Committee of the Regions of the European Union published a report on the “Impact of the social economy at local and regional level”.

Drawing on a number of studies, publications and interviews with different stakeholders, among them REVES, the document provides an insight into social economy realities in different EU Member States, different legal contexts, practices and public support.

The report highlights the important and still under-estimated role of local and regional authorities as partners of social economy organisations. In their recommendations, authors ask in particular for a stronger use of the MFF 2021-2027 to support social economy and its partnership with local and regional authorities and a “more systematic study of the role of local and regional authorities vis-à-vis the social economy”.

Also, the report refers to REVES aisbl as an example for a network promoting the partnership approach.

You will find the document here.