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The urban regeneration project “CAPACITY” in the words of beneficiaries


The project Capacity seeks to give inhabitants of three disadvantaged areas of Messina, in particular those living in the barrack settlements, the opportunity to become (again) protagonists of their own life.

After two years and a half, the first new sustainable settlements are ready, and families are moving out of the shantytown, which means out of a situation of physical and social segregation.

A series of interviews with the beneficiaries, carried out and transmitted by the local broadcaster Radiostreet, accompanied the whole process. Some excerpts from these interviews are below, with English translation: with simple expressions, in a few minutes, they provide all the profound sense of a complex project of social renewal.

Capacity is a project financed by Decree 25/05/2016 of the President of the Italian Council of Minister, and led by the Municipality of Messina. The present action is carried out by a consortium made of Ecos-Med , Fondazione di Comunità di Messina, Università degli Studi di Messina, Consorzio Sol.E, MECC s.c., REVES aisbl.

“Crescendo in Bellezza”: a concrete implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights

“Crescendo in Bellezza” is the motto chosen by the project “Integral ecology for childhood rights” (short EIDI), developed by a partnership between public and private social organizations of two Italian cities characterized by substantial differences, but with a common vision: Messina and Brescia.

 EIDI is financed within the framework of the activities of the “Impresa Sociale con I Bambini, within the framework of the Fund to combat child educational poverty “, an initiative created with the aim of managing the Fund to combat child educational poverty, provided for in the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 29 April 2016 between the President of the Council of Ministers, the Minister of Economy and Finance, the Minister of Labour and Social Policies Italy and the President of Acri, the association of foundations of banking origin. This is an original initiative that aims to go beyond the public service obligation in order to develop and apply social innovation in the field of child poverty.

The European pillar of social rights reads “Children have the right to affordable early childhood education and care of good quality” and “Children have the right to protection from poverty. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds have the right to specific measures to enhance equal opportunities”. “Crescendo in bellezza” aims to pursue these two sets of priorities in a holistic way, acting in all spheres of the life of the child, as an individual, but especially as part of a social context.

In order to pursue this aim, in Messina and Brescia activities are carried out that combine already known instruments and sophisticated instruments of social engineering, which draw on the sociological and pedagogical sphere, but also on the financial and cultural sphere.

This project is developing actions of “behavior change” that start from 9 months of pregnancy and accompany the first two years of life of the child. In the first days of life, the operators, through the activity of “home visiting” bring to the families of newborns the greeting of the community, promote universal access to services, inform parents about the importance of some choices to lay the foundations of a healthy growth of the child, promoting  aloud reading and listening to music.

In addition to these activities focused on the child and its immediate social context (the family), there are also actions that promote the growth of a community that as a whole can generate alternatives on the main areas of human functioning of newborn children and their families (knowledge, sociality, work).

The articulation between these two levels is clearly not a simple process. Nevertheless, it seems to be the most effective way to pursue the objectives that are also those of the European Pillar, in order to maximise the effectiveness of the individual intervention in a context of increasing complexity.

What did the project develop in the first implementation period? The pursuit of complex objectives clearly requires the analytical implementation of ground activities. In this sense, in the two territories the so-called “times for families” have been implemented, an action that offers, to children from 0 to 3 years old, who do not use, due to lack of other services on the territory or for income and/or cultural barriers, a participatory space of educational empowerment. The service offers, on the one hand, adults the opportunity to build a family and social support network, and on the other hand, children the opportunity to use play areas designed to lay the foundations for integral and harmonious growth.

Alongside these, the systemic action develops support for social entrepreneurship for work integration activities and reconciliation of need for income and parental care, particularly in lone parent families. A multidisciplinary team supports the development of inclusive forms of productive civil economy through incentive actions and territorial promotion.

Perhaps the most interesting peculiarity of this project is the methodology of high intensity interventions (those that respond to particularly complex needs) centered on the idea of assigning to each beneficiary a stock, a personal capital of capability. This one-off budget can be invested for: – living in a chosen house; – encouraging the entry, maintenance and reconciliation of the work of the parent, in collaboration with the social economy of the territory; – establishing a scholarship for the future of the child, and/or to facilitate the acquisition of skills of one of the parents necessary for the work; – determining a health budget to support in the long term any gaps in autonomy of the parents.

It is therefore, as we can see, the implementation of a policy that can serve as a model of action at European level, and which aims to develop a solid methodology of actions, as well as, of course, to improve the quality of social inclusion – a term in this case absolutely consistent – of newborns


The project was selected by Con i Bambini within the framework of the Fund to combat child educational poverty. The Fund is the result of an agreement between the Foundations of banking origin represented by Acre, the National Forum of the Third Sector and the Government. It supports interventions aimed at removing economic, social and cultural obstacles that prevent children from fully enjoying the educational processes. In order to implement the Fund’s programmes, in June 2016 the social enterprise Con i Bambini was set up, a non-profit organisation entirely owned by the Fondazione CON IL SUD.


For more information on  “Con i bambini”:

CONFERENCE “Milestones towards the future: Pathbreaking examples of cooperation, mutualisation and solidarity in urban and rural areas, promoted jointly by cities/regions and the social economy”


6 June 2019

Committee of the Regions of the European Union

Rue Van Maerlant 2, Room VM1, Brussels


Europe needs its cities and regions and the social and solidarity economy to reach out to its citizens, detect their real needs and make them part of creating solutions to a number of challenges, such as unemployment or precarious work, social exclusion, discrimination and racism, climate change or increasing instrumentalisation of fears and isolation by extremist forces.

REVES aisbl, the European Network of Cities and Regions for the Social Economy, is promoting co-construction of public policies driven by partnerships between policymakers, public administration and the social and solidarity economy. We support cities and regions, that – based on the principles of participation, citizen empowerment and solidarity – experiment new forms of community welfare and an economy being at the service of society.

The REVES Award is an important means to reward and make these initiatives and their potential visible at EU level, stimulate exchange and suggest new lines of action for policy-making.

Join us to listen to, discuss and network with applicants for the REVES Excellence Award 2019 and other initiatives from different EU Member States. Take the unique opportunity to connect and exchange with our jury members from different European and international organisations, civil society networks and European institutions – they will share their impressions on the applications, but also their thoughts on how to give (values of) partnerships between cities/regions and the social and solidarity economy the place they deserve on the (future) European policy agenda.

Please find the programme here.

Please register here.

Hosted by:cor

konferens “Främja civilsamhället och den sociala ekonomin genom reserverade kontrakt i upphandling och andra möjligheter”


Offentliga upphandlingar spelar en nyckelroll för att uppnå samhälleliga förändringar inom såväl miljö som socialt värdeskapande. I detta sammanhang syftade direktiv 24/2014/EU till att modernisera upphandlingsförfaranden genom att bland annat införa nya möjligheter att använda sociala kriterier, reserverade kontrakt och andra insatser för sociala och sjukvårdstjänster.

För att främja användandet av dessa nya möjligheter till den sociala ekonomin har Europeiska kommissionens byrå för små och medelstora företag (EASME) tillsammans med direktoratet GROWTH lanserat ett initiativ för att fördjupa kunskapen i 15 EU-länder, däribland Sverige.

Efter att ha genomfört en noggrann analys av införlivandet av direktivet i svensk lag, välkomnar Serus och arbetsgivarföreningen KFO, tjänstemän från lokala och regionala myndigheter och anställda i civilsamhället/den sociala ekonomin till ett seminarium som behandlar frågan.

Seminariet syftar till att fördjupa samtalet om utmaningar och möjligheter med de nya verktygen i upphandlingen.

Framförallt kommer seminariet behandla reserverade kontrakt i relation till arbetsintegration och sociala tjänster, samt en bredare ansats om sociala hänsyn.


REVES EXCELLENCE AWARD 2019: Call for Applications – extended deadline!!

REVES gladly presents the new call for the 2019 edition of the REVES Excellence Award.

We are searching for best practice examples of real partnerships and co-construction between public authorities and the social and solidarity economy.

It does not take much to apply and you can do it in different languages.

Deadline for sending applications: 7 April 2019.

We are proud to have the following organisations represented in the jury:

  • European Commission/ DG Grow
  • European Parliament/ Social Economy Intergroup
  • Committee of the Régions
  • European Economic and Social Committee
  • Social Economy Europe
  • OECD LEED Programme
  • ESF Thematic Network on Partnership
  • ILO

Applicants will have the occasion to present their initiatives to the jury and a broader public during a European conference to be held in Brussels on 6 June 2019.


Become a European Social Economy Region 2019!



The European Social Economy Regions initiative is aiming to raise awareness on social economy at regional and local level and to gradually build regional/local networks of social economy stakeholders.

The call with more detailed information and criteria is accessible at:

The ESER 2019 is open to all newcomers from EU-based regional and local public authorities with competencies and links to social economy who didn’t participate in the 2018 pilot.

Applications are possible until 31 January 2019.

Please feel free to spread this information among your contacts and networks.

For a Fairer, More Inclusive Europe, Sign the #SIDeclaration


EU policymakers are negotiating Europe’s next long-term budget. Sign the #SIDeclaration today to tell them that Europe needs innovation to benefit everyone.

While industries like pharmaceuticals and automotive are good at getting decision-makers’ attention, the social innovation community – a broad movement of people and organisations innovating for public benefit – often has less influence. We want this to change.

Over the past year, we have asked people working in social innovation all over Europe about how EU policy could enable them achieve an even bigger impact. We heard from more than 350 people from 19 member countries.

You told us you wanted a Europe where civil society, non-state actors and local communities are empowered to define and address challenges that matter to them, such as climate change. You shared a vision for research and innovation which gives greater recognition to the contribution of civil society and the wider public. And you spoke about the need for mainstream innovators (like technologists, firms and research organisations) to rethink their role in driving direct societal benefits.

Finally, you described challenges that can stop social innovation achieving its potential: problems with public procurement, rigid funding structures that don’t allow experimentation, a lack of skills and incentives for public officials to support social innovation.

The Social Innovation Declaration sets out the core values that we want European policymakers to follow as they negotiate the new EU budget and programming.

The Declaration includes 10 specific policy recommendations that we think cut right to the heart of these issues. We want to make social innovation a cross-cutting priority in all EU policies and programmes (such as the European Social Fund Plus or Horizon Europe), and have introduced a number of proposals aimed at using strategic partnerships between EU, national and regional authorities to unleash the power of communities and smaller organisations to drive change.

Click here to download the full Declaration.

This Declaration is a statement of intent from the community to ensure that social innovation is given the political visibility and support it deserves. We need your help to show European decision-makers that we are a powerful and determined force for change in Europe.

Sign the #SIDeclaration and make history with us! #Spreadit4Europe

Join us in conversation in how to implement the #SIDeclaration in the final event!

Join us on 12 and 13 November 2018 in Seville for a chance to discuss the Declaration and how to implement it at the Social Innovation Community project’s final event. Learn more about the speakers and agenda at

Legislative proposals around EU Cohesion Policy 2021-2027: REVES position paper

The European Commission published, in May 2018, its proposals for the regulations governing EU Cohesion Policy for 2021-2027.

Please find the REVES position paper here below.

REVES is particularly preoccupied by the future of the European Code of Conduct on Partnership and open questions around the role of local/regional governements and smaller players when it comes to designing, implementing and monitoring programmes.

REVES position paper

Recommendations regarding a review of the European Code of Conduct on Partnership (ESF Thematic Network on Partnership)

Do not miss the Global Social Economy Forum!

This year the Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF) – organised every two years – will be held from 1 to 3 October 2018 in Bilbao/Spain. It will bring together a diversity of social economy players, public authorities, academics and other kind of organisations/persons interested in the development of the social and solidarity economy worldwide.

REVES has been taking part in the preparations of the event. We are looking forward to discuss with you during the plenary « Social economy in the age of cities » which will include panellists such as Robert Beaudry (Deputy Mayor of the city of Montreal), Simel Esim (ILO), Christiane Bouchart (RTES) or Martin van den Borre (C.I.T.I.E.S.). REVES members such as Region Örebro County, Catalonia and CECOP will actively contribute to other sessions on topics such as the collaborative economy, training or social economy in public policies.

The full programme of the event can be found here.

Ana Umbelino to represent REVES in the GECES 2018-2024

Ana Umbelino, member of the board of directors of REVES and councillor at Torres Vedras City Council (PT) will represent REVES in the European Commission Expert Group on Social Enterprise for the period 2018-2024.

The GECES, which was created following the Social Business Initiative (2011), supports the European Commission for the implementation of policies concerning social enterprises, and represents today a place for dialogue between The Commission, Member States and sectoral organisations.

During the previous periods, the Group provided expertise on such issues as the measurement of social impact, or the participation of social enterprises in public procurement procedures.

Ana and REVES will try to put forward the partnership issue, as a key for developing democratic, sustainable and inclusive societies.