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New European Commission will launch Action Plan for the Social Economy

A new European Commission took office on 1 December 2019.

In front of the European Parliament, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had pledged to set the fight against climate change and a Green Deal for Europe at the very top of the EU policy agenda next other principles/elements such as the support for  « an economy serving people », a strengthening of European democracy and the European Parliament’s right for initiative or the defense of the rule of law.

The College of Commissioners, composed of Commissioners from the 27 Member States of the European Union will take the political leadership of the European Commission until 2024.

In so-called ‘mission letters’, von der Leyen highlighted their respective objectives and tasks.

Commissioner for Jobs Nicolas Schmit has been mandated to develop a Social Economy Action Plan.

The European Network of Cities and Regions for the Social Economy (REVES aisbl) welcomes this and hopes, inter alia, for a recognition of the important role local and regional governments and multi-stakeholder partnerships (should) play in its promotion.

At the same time, REVES hopes for a clear commitment to the social economy and related initiatives also by other Commissioners covering topics such as a European Action Plan for the Implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, the Conference on the Future of Europe, social and territorial cohesion, the new SME strategy, the revision of EU competetion rules,  to name just a few…

Also at administrative level, the recent positive dynamics of cooperation between Directorate-Generals should not be lost.

INTEGRAL ECOLOGY FOR CHILDREN’S RIGHTS IN BRESCIA (IT)

 

Integral ecology for children’s rights is a project of experimentation and implementation of complex policies to address the issue of child educational poverty, starting from the pre-conditions that determine it. The complexity (in the literal sense) of these policies does not only refer to the type of interventions needed, but also to those who develop and/or implement them. In fact, going beyond the fundamental model of public and universalist delivery, EIDI aims to involve in the process the local actors of well-being, the natural terminals of social relations of a territory, the community as a whole.

The Brescia experience, conducted in partnership between CAUTO, the Foundation of the Brescia Community and the Municipality of Brescia, is an excellent example of the adaptability of key concepts – personalized action, capacity budget, taking charge of the community – to the context.

“Welcome to community” and “family times” are two cornerstones of the EIDI project that in Brescia have been grafted in a virtuous way, and without unnecessary duplication, on the interventions implemented by public administrations for newborns.

The involvement of the role of the community, both at second level, composed of organized stakeholders who act policies for children and families, and at first level, composed of people who live on a territory, is a fundamental point.

As far as bodies and organisations active in the sector are concerned, it has been possible to ascertain the effectiveness and efficiency of the transition from a mono-dimensional vision of the intervention to a practice of transversal action. This is not only substantiated in terms of coordination of actions between organizational structures, but also and especially in the increased awareness of the operator to be part of a wider process, resulting in better understanding and assumption of their role, even in problematic terms.

Where, however, the process triggered by EIDI in Brescia shows its potential is in the involvement of the community of citizens as an active part, from different points of view.

First of all, in the identification of conditions of discomfort or risk, especially when they escape the frameworks provided by static reading grids. The perception of the situation at risk through informal and uncodified indicators, but made clear to the communities by the experience of the territory, has allowed to identify and treat marginal situation that are not yet extreme, in a somewhat preventive manner. This, however, must not lead us to think of a role of mere controller or substitute for public institutions; rather, we must appreciate the recovery of the protection network, which is the primary function of the community. Through the collection of reports during targeted meetings, or through the knowledge of opportunities for help, people at risk are directed towards a path of support that specialized operators provide.

However, it would be reductive to limit the function to reporting risk situations. The EIDI project in Brescia involves the community in a positive sense, in terms of the community that welcomes even before protecting: every newborn is given a welcome in the form of a gadget produced within the community itself. It is a symbolic shelter produced by an association that brings together 250 people from the districts involved in the project. In addition to the symbolism represented by the gadget itself (chosen by the community …), the act of giving, especially to people who normally receive nothing for nothing, concretely expresses the sense of belonging to a system of relationships based on solidarity and non-predation.

The implementation of “capacity budgets”, managed mainly by the Foundation of the Brescia Community, shows the usefulness of intervening on the implementation of social functions that allow the individual, or the family, to recover their parental function, in a generative way for the community. As experience has shown, the use of resources to reduce gaps, instead of providing a direct contribution to the individual, allows people in a situation of progressive social disintegration to quickly recover a role and (re)knowledge of it. A team of operators identifies, with the help of the communities, the situations that may require support interventions, selects on the basis of risk and initiates a process of accompaniment that always begins with the signing of a personal agreement through which the subject of the action is primarily committed to recovering parental skills, restructuring their personal value and use it to rebuild the paths of social network.

Financial resources are therefore used as a vehicle for overcoming functional gaps, whether they are represented by personal deficiencies (e.g. poor working skills, i.e. in positive need of internship) or system ones (lack of possibility of entrusting children outside institutional times, i.e. in positive need of a baby-sitting service).

 

con-i-bambiniThe 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. www.conibambini.org

No one is left behind – a video about Region Örebro County support to social enterprises

 

Region Örebro County, member of the REVES board, is partner in the RaiSE-project on enhancing competitiveness of social enterprises. They were  approached by the programme office of Interreg Europe to be the subject of a web-documentary on successful initiatives within Interreg Europe.

Here is the video produced by Interreg Europe showing the concrete results of a  particularly interesting policy change: ”No one is left behind” is a film about Region Örebro County work in supporting social enterprises.

 

CAPACITY – Almost there!

Almost at the end of the experience of the CAPACITY project in Messina. The results are there: a district of barracks transformed into a compound of sustainable buildings and a new approach to social housing based on the ownership of the house and not on life-long assistance

A virtuous example of using public funding as a multiplier of inclusion (the project was funded on the basis of an initiative of the Presidency of the Council of the Italian Republic – DPCM 25/05/2016)

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

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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

con-i-bambini

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. www.conibambini.org

 

For more information on  “Con i bambini”: https://www.conibambini.org/

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”

EXTENDED DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION: 30 MAY 2019

6 June 2019

Committee of the Regions of the European Union

Rue Van Maerlant 2, Room VM1, Brussels

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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”

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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.

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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.

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Become a European Social Economy Region 2019!

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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: https://bit.ly/2QwJ32u

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.