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The role of Social economy as an important instrument to pursue the objectives defined in the European Structural and investment Funds regulation (e.g. in terms of more and better jobs’ creation and social inclusion) is widely recognised in Europe.

The basic values of Social economy and its objectives, which consist in sharing resources for common benefit, mutualisation and solidarity, show the consistence and appropriateness of social economy/public authorities-based partnerships in order to fulfil the objective of cohesion enshrined in Art. 174 of the Lisbon Treaty. Nevertheless, nothing would (have) be(en) possible without the European Social Fund or the European Regional Development Fund.

This is why, yesterday’s EPSEIG public hearing on the “60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome: social economy’s contribution to economic, social and territorial cohesion in Europe” has represented once more the occasion for REVES to recall the attention on two major current issues:

  • the necessity for investment instruments to complement, rather than take the place of, European Structural and Investment Funds, in order to boost social cohesion;
  • to counter the current tendency to recentralize the definition of policy as well as the management of financial instruments (e.g. ESIF), from the programming to the concrete delivery phase. Indeed, Structural funds have been so far showing what the EU is concretely doing for citizens at national, regional and local level, and are powerful instruments to support European Citizenship. The EU solidarity cannot be built from Brussels: local authorities and social economy organisations are in the pipeline to make full use of instruments like the CLLDs and the Urban agenda in the territories, putting social, rather than financial, efficiency on top.

Conference on Social PlaNet: a new support for creating social economy enterprises!

Gothenburg – On 2 March 2017, REVES, together with other representatives of the project consortium, took part in the presentation of the Social PlaNet online role-play game to train people who face disadvantages in the labour market to become social entrepreneurs, developed in the framework of the Social Seducement project and co-funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme.

Luigi Martignetti (REVES Secretary General) opened the session by stressing the importance of learning how to make the creation of social economy enterprises more attractive (e.g. for young people), and how to manage them. Social PlaNet is a first step in this direction.

The Social seducement has been thought, as recalled by Renate Goergen (Le Mat General director and brand manager) to synthesize this aspect with the ambition of creating a new culture for disabled and disadvantaged people, in order to manage their life in a way that was not limited to professional inclusion. Renate pointed out the importance of storytelling in this sense, as an effective means to show and share successful social economy entrepreneurial aspects and experiences, since “people learn by being inspired by what they are enthusiastic about”.

But how to apply the game in reality? Le Mat has been presented as a case of social franchising organisation for social enterprises running hotels, hostels and B&B’s. The first idea emerged in Trieste, Italy, more than 15 years ago, to be then spread also in other European countries. Elisabet Abrahamsson (Le Mat Europe) shared the story of Le Mat Sweden, reminding also – who would have though? – that the REVES board, in March 2010, was its very first host!

The meeting went ahead with the presentation of the Social PlaNet game by Kerstin Junge (Tavistock Institute, project leader) and a simulation of how it is played in reality by Joachim Keim (Coompanion Gothenburg) with the support of some volunteers from the public.

The consortium, supported by a number of facilitators from different countries, is now running a piloting phase in order to experiment the game. A conference will be held in Bruxelles on 7th June to sum up relevant feedbacks and present the game to a wider public.

The next challenge? The translation of the concept in different contexts! A social economy school linked to a REVES member has already announced the interest to work on an updated version of the game.

We encourage all REVES members to use the game, which will be distributed for free. If you would like to keep updated about the project and/ or become a facilitator to offer support, information and guidance to gamers, contact us!

REVES seminar on public procurement and alternative approaches

About a year after the deadline for implementation of the EU directive on public procurement, approximately 50 representatives of public authorities and social economy organizations from different EU Member-States followed an invitation by REVES to share their experiences in the framework of a seminar organized on 1 March 2017 in Gothenburg (Sweden). The event was hosted by the Västra Götaland region, the region of Ӧstergötland and the city of Gothenburg.

In their welcome address Tina Ehn, member of the regional Council of Västra Götaland and Jonas Attenius, Deputy mayor of Gothenburg, highlighted divers initiatives of their city/region to link public procurement and social objectives and to cooperate with the social economy as a key player when it comes to creating (social) welfare.

During the seminar, participants had the occasion to discuss experiences regarding reservation of contracts and social considerations. Key inputs came from the examples of the Generalitat de Catalonia (ES), Region of Tuscan (IT) and the City of Gothenburg.

A second session focused on alternative approaches to public procurement. The City of Gothenburg and the Ӧstergötland region presented concept and practice of the so-called “Civil Society Public Partnership” or “Idea based public private partnership”. Felice Scalvini, deputy mayor of the city of Brescia (IT), in turn, gave participants an insight into the efforts of his city to become a “Zero competition city” in which service provision and welfare are based on cooperation and co-planning/co-creation between service providers and civil society.

The seminar closed with food for thought provided by a presentation of Gordon Hahn, president of Coompanion Sweden, on his view of ‘social innovation procurement” in which procedural aspects (‘how do we procure’) would be entirely replaced by impact considerations (“what to procure”).

The event is part of a series of initiatives REVES and its members are realising in order to closely monitor the implementation of the new European directive on public procurement in different EU Members States, with a view also to deepen the sharing of (technical) knowledge and competences among public authorities and social economy all over Europe.

A more detailed report on the seminar will follow shortly. Interested in this report and any further initiative/event on the topic? Continue checking our website and FB.

Promoting cooperative workers’ buy-outs: News from the Saving Jobs! project

After a third meeting of project partners on 17 and 18 January 2017 in Copenhagen, COCETA is currently developing training modules on worker buy-out to be tested in Denmark, Poland and the UK. Target groups for training are employees, but also enterprise owners. Modules and guidelines will be based on successful training practices in Spain.

Curious? Contact us should you/your organisation be interested in a test application, as well.


1st and 2nd March 2017 – join us in Gothenburg!

Public procurement is one of the concrete instruments to cooperate between local and regional authorities and social economy players. Indeed, public procurement plays a more and more central role in shaping the way public services are organised and delivered, while goods’ procurement is a powerful means to orientate local economic development.

Whereas the instrument does not formally count under the tools to pursue general policy objectives, it is undeniable that the choices done by contracting authorities have a major role in shaping the economic, social and environmental profile of a given territory.

Directive EU 2014/18, now transposed by a majority of Member States, embodies important novelties and possibilities for contracting authorities to take into account particularly sensitive social and environmental issues, which affects the partnership between local and regional authorities and social economy as well.
The new provisions could be grouped (roughly) in three areas: a) reserved contracts; b) social clauses; c) special regime for social services.

In order to properly use these new possibilities, REVES members decided to organise a series of learning sessions to exchange and share with a view to improve their practices.

These sessions, open to non-member guests, will: a) look into the spirit of the directive; b) check existing experiences and analyse them against the Directive and taking into account national rules and practices; c) analyse how to use and integrate such existing experiences to apply in other territories.

The European Network of Cities and Regions for the Social economy – REVES aisbl, together with Västra Götalandsregionen, Region Östergötland and the City of Gothenburg are glad to present the first learning seminar on Public procurement to support partnership between local authorities and social economy, which will be held on March 1st 2017 in Gothenburg.

The seminar will be followed by a meeting of the REVES Board of Directors.

Presenting experiences: Region Västra Götaland, Region Östergötland, City of Gothenburg, City of Brescia, Generalitat de Catalunya (TBC), City of Copenhagen (TBC), City of Athens (TBC) and others.

There is more…

Gothenburg, on the West Coast of Sweden, has become the city with the highest density of Social Enterprises and numbers are growing. This is one of the reasons why REVES and Coompanion have decided to set up a conference on 2nd March 2017 in order to explore also why this is happening and what tools and instruments have favoured this development.

With these insights we will present the Social Seducement game approach and how it can support the development of Social Enterprises amongst disadvantaged groups. In focus are single entities as well as replication through methods such as Social Franchising.

The conference will end with a discussion focusing on the key aspects that help you to implement Social Seducement tools in your own work and context in order to support the creation of Social Enterprises.

Knowledge about the Gothenburg success will be shared by some of the most important and influential local actors involved in developing and supporting Social Enterprises.

The Social Seducement Project will be presented by researchers and practioners working on the project.

Download now your registration form, and send it back to by 10th February 2017

Check for updates!

CoR – European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) 2018 edition open for applications

We are pleased to inform you that the Committee of Regions (CoR) has just launched a call for the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) Award 2018!

Regions and cities that are ready to implement a future-oriented entrepreneurial strategy are invited to apply until 7 April 2017.

Please find HERE a leaflet with a general presentation of the EER initiative, and HERE the EER 2018 call for applications, as well as a document with practical information about the application process. Further information is available on the EER website. For a visual impression of what the EER award is about, please see this launch video.

Please also note that the Committee of the Regions is organising an EER 2018 Info Day, in order to give potential candidates the opportunity to learn more about the objectives of the award and the assessment criteria, and to obtain advice from successful EER regions and representatives of the EER jury. Particular emphasis will be put on concrete tips that can help candidates in preparing their applications. This event will take place on Thursday 26 January from 10:15 to 12:00 at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. For further information and registration, please see the event website.

European Pillar of Social Rights: REVES position

The final REVES position on the European Pillar of Social Rights is based on the values and principles of the REVES Charter, on priorities expressed in the discussions around the REVES work programme as well as on the contributions we received for this position from our members.

REVES will spread the position paper among European policy-makers in the European Commission and the European Parliament, but also in the advisory bodies and – where possible – at national level.

Several points of a first draft of the REVES position (with contributions received in September) have already found their place in the opinion of the Committee of the Regions (attached).

On 17 November 2016, REVES Co-President Jan Olsson had the opportunity to comment on the Social Pillar during a hearing of the Social Economy Intergroup at the European Parliament, in presence of Allan Larsson (Special Advisor of the European Commission on the Social Pillar) and Nicolas Schmit (Minister of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, Luxemburg).

The public consultation is still ongoing and we would strongly advise all members that did not do it so far to participate.

Downloadable documents:

-          The final REVES position on the European Pillar of Social Rights

-          Draft opinion of the European Parliament

-          Opinion of the Committee of the Regions on the European Pillar of Social Rights

Please feel free to contact us should you have any comments or questions at:

EESC – Collaborative economy report adopted!

The European Economic and Social Committee, on 14 December 2016, adopted its report on the collaborative economy.

In this report it calls on the European Commission and policy-makers in general to give priority to initiatives that “are founded on democratic, solidarity-based and inclusive governance”.

The Commission’s approach towards the Collaborative Economy and in particular its tendency to mix concepts such as digital platforms and the sharing economy are sharply criticized.

Throughout the report the EESC calls for intensified work on the “new economy”, with particular attention to promoting those initiatives that enhance cooperation and solidarity.

REVES Excellence Award 2017 – Call for good practices now open!

The third edition of the REVES Award emerges in a scenario full of important policy debates at the European level: the imminent mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020, including the European Structural and Investment Funds, the shaping of the European Pillar of Social Rights, but also the precious opportunity of integrating the social economy sector in a European Action Plan.

More than ever, Europe is facing the urgency of a governance reform, able to take into account the real needs of communities and people, and putting the latter at the core of solution paths aimed at tackling unmet needs and problems.

REVES’ mission since its inception, in 1996, has been the promotion of partnership between local/regional authorities and social economy organisations towards a fair, inclusive and sustainable development emerging from the local level and crucial for the achievement of global goals. This is the direction in which we are walking to concretely transform challenges into general interest opportunities, and we don’t want to keep it secret!

In 2013, the first edition of the REVES Excellence Award has been established precisely to make this kind of alliance and its achievements more visible. At the same time, it aimed to foster the emergence of new partnerships between these two actors.

The huge success of the first two editions convinced us to launch a call for the REVES Excellence Award 2017, to continue sharing the best partnership experiences’ examples all over Europe!

Check out the complete Call for good practices and discover the topics selected for the third edition’s working examples!

Candidatures can be submitted in English, French and Italian, both by Regional and Local authorities or Social Economy and related organisations – using the downloadable application form –  to:

Deadline: 28 February 2017

Don’t miss the chance to share your unique experience at European level.

Give it more visibility!