Social Economy Intergoup of the European Parliament – Public Hearing: “Towards a European Action Plan for the social economy”

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The public hearing will bring together MEPs, high-level European Commission and Member States representatives, EESC members and social economy representatives, to have an exchange of views on the importance of developing a European Action Plan for the social economy, towards an ambiutious European social economy policy.

When & Where: Wednesday 28th of September, from 1pm to 3pm, at the European Parliament (room JAN4Q2).

Speakers: Jens Nilsson, MEP (S&D, SE), Co-President of the Social Economy Intergroup, Ramón Luis Valcárcel MEP (EPP, ES), Vice-President of the European Parliament and Co-President of the Social Economy Intergroup (tbc), Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (tbc), Branislav Ondruš, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of Slovakia, Nadine Muller, Responsible of the Social and Solidarity Economy department at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social and Solidarity Economy, Juan Antonio Pedreño, President of Social Economy Europe, Ariane Rodert, Vice-President of the EESC’s Group III, Sven Giegold, MEP (GREENS/EFA, DE), Co-President of the Social Economy Intergroup.

To register, please send an e-mail to contact@socialeconomy.eu.org before the 23rd of September. In case you need an accreditation to the EP, please include your following information: full name, type of ID, ID number, date of birth and nationality.

Please find attached the full programme of the hearing.

Social Innovation Community launch event on 26-27 September – Join us!

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Funded by the H2020 Programme and run by a consortium of 12 leading organisations across Europe, SIC will build on the work of Social Innovation Europe to engage, strengthen and connect existing social innovation networks including public sector innovators, digital social innovators, social economy actors and more.

On 26-27 September, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the activities of the SIC project and how you can get involved. We will present a framework for a common understanding of social innovation, including past trends, the latest evidence and emerging methodologies in order to identify future priority areas. This will provide the foundation for future activities. And of course, you will meet leading social innovation projects, high-level policymakers and funders.

Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of SIC, and establish new connections and collaborations.

To discover the agenda of the SIC launch, please have a look here

If you’re interested in attending this event, please get in touch at events@socialinnovationexchange.org

Check out the new SIC website  at www.siceurope.eu and share it widely through #SICEurope and #SICLaunch!

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European Parliament’s study on Social Economy – Download it now!

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The European Parliament’s study on Social Economy assesses the important role the social economy plays in the EU, shaping a detailed background made up of data, legal frameworks and best practices.

Priority policies identified to reach the full potential of the sector include:

1) digital transformation of social economy,

2) enabling EU cross-sectorial regulatory and financial frameworks, and

3) improving definitions and developing indicators – alternatives to GDP – to focus policies on EU added-value.

The European Network of Cities and Regions for the Social Economy (REVES aisbl) is mentioned as an important step towards the creation of cooperation channels, based on the principle of partnership between local and regional authorities and territorial social economy organizations (see par.4.2.3 page 65).

The document is available at the following link:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/578969/IPOL_STU(2016)578969_EN.pdf

SINGLE DIGITAL GATEWAY: public consultation process now open!

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The Single Digital Gateway’s rationale is to help people find all the information they need to:

  • do business cross-border;
  • travel to another EU country;
  • live, study or work in another EU country.

With this aim, the DG GROW has recently launched a public consultation on the creation of a ‘Single Digital Gateway’. The Gateway would provide easy online access to Single Market information, procedures, assistance and advice for citizens and businesses.

The Single Digital Gateway would be based on existing portals, contact points and networks. But it would improve and better connect them, and help people to complete the most frequently-used national procedures fully online.

You have until 21 November 2016 to have your say in the consultation via the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/newsroom/cf/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=8896

REVES Yearbook of excellences 2015 – Download it now!

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The objective of the REVES Yearbook of excellence 2015 was to identify and reward best working examples of general-interest-oriented partnership between public authorities and social and solidarity economy that is based on or produces measurable and replicable social innovation (including a direct involvement of citizens in design and realisation of actions).

In total, REVES had received 38 applications from local/regional initiatives run in 11 EU Member States.

Mamas Retro – a reuse initiative encouraging entrepreneurship among unemployed women and transgender persons with intellectual or neuropsychiatric disabilities – was selected winner of the REVES Excellence Award 2015 by an independent jury composed of representatives of the European Parliament (Social Economy Intergroup), the European Economic and Social Committee, the International Labour Organisation, the OECD and Social Economy Europe.

The following initiatives received a special mention:

- Local Community Enterprise Support Network Lithuania

- Pronto Badante, Tuscany Region, Italy

- Crèche Mêli-Mêlo, City of Lille, France

- Public-Private Partnership for EU Migrants, City of Gothenburg, Sweden

- Phoenix Project, Cork County, Ireland

- SOPOT Model of Social Economy, City of Sopot, Poland

A handbook containing a detailed description of the winner and all other eligible applications is finally downloadable HERE!

Global Social Economy Forum 2016: be there!

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The City of Montreal and the Chantier de l’économie sociale co-organize the next Global Social Economy Forum #GSEF2016, to be held 7-9 September 2016 and which will focus on the collaboration between local governments and the social and solidarity economy (SSE) organizations for the development of cities.

An event not to be missed for:

Share your best practices for the development of cities supported by local governments and learn about others in place elsewhere in the world;
Identify opportunities and challenges for collaborations between your local governments and SSE actors;
• Promote coordinated international actions to foster the development of the SSE in your area.

Discover the preliminary programme and register today at gsef2016.org

Follow the event on Facebook and Twitter using the tag #GSEF2016!

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BESPAT: Good Practices in the Field of Personal and Household Services/Policy recommendations

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A collection and analysis of good practice in the field of personal and household services and proposals for an improvement of these services are the main outputs of the BESPAT project (co-financed by the European Commission), which came to an end in April 2016.

For more information you may consult the latest newsletter  (http://www.bespat.eu/index.php/actions/newsletter/mailing/view/listid-0/mailingid-7/listype-1) and the BESPAT website (http://www.bespat.eu).

 Please find here the final guide:

European Pillar of Social Rights: Raise your voice! Public consultation process now open!

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The European Commission recently launched a public consultation on the « European Pillar of Social Rights”. We would strongly recommend any interested organization/authority/person to participate in this consultation (which will be open until 31/12/2016) in order to raise his/her/its voice on the direction the EU/Eurozone should take when it comes to defending fundamental and social rights.

The Social Pillar won’t replace basic social rights such as they are expressed in EU primary law, but set a clearer, more detailed reference framework when it comes to the application of the different principles laid down in legislation.  According to the European Commission, the Social Pillar will become a major instrument for a screening of employment and social policies of the Member States and for the development of more coherent policy approaches in this area within the Eurozone.

We strongly encourage everybody to make himself/herself heard through this consultation – the “Social Pillar” will most probably have a strong influence on the future of the European social model…

“The role of the social economy in restoring economic growth and combating unemployment” – Committee of the Regions opinion adopted

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In its plenary session of 3 and 4 December 2015 the Committee of the Regions adopted its opinion “The role of the social economy in restoring economic growth and combating unemployment” (rapporteur: Luis Gomes, PT, EPP).

This opinion is the first since a number of years (2002) in which the Committee of the Regions takes a clear position in favour of the social economy and partnerships between local/regional authorities and the social economy.

In the last months the REVES secretariat closely followed the CoR’s work on this document and was consulted several times.

COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS ON SOCIAL ECONOMY!

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At its meeting on 7 December 2015, almost twenty years after the first mentioning of social economy in a Council conclusion, the Council adopted the proposal of the Luxembourg Presidency for Council conclusions on “The promotion of the social economy as a key driver of economic and social development in Europe”.

Jens Nilsson, spokesperson of the intergroup on social economy at the European Parliament, qualified the date as historical for social economy.

 Indeed, it is an historical event, not only for social economy, but for the European project as such.

While recognising the role of social economy and its contribution to the pursuit of Europe 2020 goals, the Council underlines main principles of the social economy such as the primacy of people over capital and the  role of the social economy as a vehicle for social and economic cohesion in Europe.

It also acknowledges several times the importance of dialogue, partnership and community involvement and therewith points to the character of social economy which is founded on collective action and which has the capacity to act as a kind of “glue” for society.

Thus, the role of social economy goes beyond that of being an economic player among others. People make social economy for people and prove that an economy serving the  human being is not only possible, but also effective in  the pursuit of multiple objectives.

The Council, after inviting member States and Commission to “establish and further develop European, national, regional and local strategies and programmes for enhancing the social economy”, focuses on four main areas of intervention:

• awareness, recognition and education

• social innovation

• regulatory environment

• access to finance

Through these conclusions, the Council provides directions for policymaking, which Member States, by approving, committed to pursue. The Commission, on its part, receives a mandate to act.

Social economy, people of the social economy, have achieved such a result by the force of evidence, showing every day their capacity to adapt to changing environments without giving up their values. Finally, their consistency came out to be their strength.