Social enterprises gaining ground in Europe: new country reports available!

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The European Commission is currently updating the map of social enterprises and their eco-systems in Europe which was first published in 2014 and criticized by a number of players.

New  country reports from Italy, Belgium, Spain, France, Slovakia, Ireland and Poland are now available. Moreover, a more general EU report outlines the latest developments in Europe and shows a net increase of social enterprises and jobs created by them compared to other type of enterprises.

 For more information click HERE.

Housing and social inclusion of refugees. Congratulations to Wind of Renewal for the WELCOMMON project kick-off!

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REVES welcomes the launching of WELCOMMON – the social innovative project for refugees – by the greek partners of the social cooperative Wind of Renewal !

On 12 of October 2016, the social cooperative welcomed the first group of refugees in a fully renovated building, located in the center of Athens.

On October 2015, Wind of Renewal, started to elaborate a scheme that could give a sustainable solution to one of the main challenges that greek society is facing: the refugee issue.

Wind of Renewal aims to cover both the needs of refugees and of the local society.

WELCOMMON is a social innovative project as it offers:

To the refugees:
– decent and safe accommodation, food and cover for basic needs
– psychosocial support
– cultural training
– social integration

To the local community:
– new jobs (28 at the moment)
– professional training
– professional specialization
– a boost to the greek economy

Please find enclosed a brief description of the project and some
photos – and do not hesitate to contact Ms Polina Gkioka (tispolinas@gmail.com) for more information or ideas!

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Brussels, December 5 – Conference on Platform Cooperativism

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On December 5, REVES is invited to participate in the conference  “Towards a fair sharing economy: The role and place of cooperative platforms” organised by La Coop des Communs, Confrontations Europe, P2P Foundation, SMart, Ouishare and Cecop.

Digital platforms are powerful tools for matching needs, cooperation and sharing information, but they also raise property, governance, democracy issues. Can we do more than describing the dangers of concentration and value chain capture of most powerful digital firms? Can we try to control the situation or, even better, go one step ahead? What kind of solutions can we find relying on “commons »? Can social and solidarity economy (SSE) “collective” organisations (cooperatives, mutualities, associations…) contribute to fairer solutions and be a part of a new European political project?

At the conference, activists of the commons and the social and solidarity economy will give examples of how fair and sharing platforms can be created and show the variety of models, the opportunities and challenges they represent for legislation and society. Regulation of the practices, needs for support and public policies will be discussed.

The conference will take place in the European Economic and Social Committee, Brussels EESC Building – Room VMA 3 (2nd floor); 2 rue Van Maerlant – 1040 – Brussels on Monday, December 5, 2016 from 9am to 5pm.

Please find here the draft agenda.

Registration: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1HLdsPaBRvaYDinvOBCGoNRBMjau6E5DH2lN9CCa8ObI/edit

If you encounter any problems, please contact Louise Decourcelle ldecourcelle@confrontations.org

CICOPA has designed the Youth Cooperative Entrepreneurship campaign – Make a contribution!

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CICOPA has designed a one-year Youth Cooperative Entrepreneurship campaign to let the world know how young people can satisfy their needs & contribute to a better society through the creation of worker, social and producers’ cooperatives.

This campaign aims to:

  • Promote cooperative entrepreneurship and employment among the youth in the world;
  • Create an impact on governments, international organizations and regional integration entities regarding cooperative entrepreneurship and employment through worker, social and producers’ cooperatives among the youth.

Four main actions are planned:

  • A website designed for young people interested in creating a cooperative. This website will provide visibility to the campaign and is aimed at attracting young people towards worker, social and producers’ cooperatives by providing both concrete cases and information & practical information on how to establish them.
  • A publication on youth cooperative entrepreneurship will analyse the trends among young people in establishing worker, social and producers’ cooperatives around the world. Recommendations for policies at international, regional and national level will be included to enable and foster its establishment.
  • The promotion of the video highlighting examples of cooperatives created by young people. CICOPA, together with its regional organizations, has recently produced the video Working Together for a Cooperative Future sharing nine stories of cooperatives around the world. The video will be promoted widely & translated into other languages.
  • A final conference will analyse the possibilities offered by worker, social and producers’ cooperatives to young people in order to respond to their entrepreneurial and employment needs through values such as common ownership, democratic governance, self-realisation, empowerment and responsible attitude toward the community.

The one-year Youth Cooperative Entrepreneurship campaign will be launched in December 2016, but the required funds still need to be collected.

Do you want to make this campaign real? Then donate here!

For any further information, download the introductory document of the CICOPA Youth Cooperative Entrepreneurship campaign here.

“SAVING JOBS!” – kick-off meeting of the project boosting transfer of enterprises to workers

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On 8-9 September 2016, REVES took part in the first fruitful meeting of the Saving Jobs project consortium which will implement, until mid-2017, a number of activities aiming at improving the environment for transferring businesses to workers/employees by organizing them in a cooperative form, and to raise awareness about the benefits of the cooperative model.

REVES will contribute to the initiative in particular by exploring and strengthening the role of local and regional authorities in the context of cooperative worker buyouts.

Discover more downloading HERE the first Saving Jobs! press release.

15/09/2016 – EP Resolution “How best to harness the job creation potential of SMEs?”

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On 15 September 2016, the plenary session of the European Parliament has approved the resolution on how best to harness the job creation potential of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (2015/2320(INI)).

The document is aimed at supporting SMEs in their efforts to combat unemployment (8,9%) and youth unemployment (19,4%) rates, since SMEs provide about two thirds of all private-sector employment in the EU, soundly contributing to the growth and development of the Union.

The text recalls the fact that the social and solidarity-based economy has shown better resilience during the economic crisis than other enterprises in the same sectors, strengthening economic, social and territorial cohesion, while also contributing to smarter, sustainable and inclusive growth, particularly in rural regions.

The text considers that EU and national policies should not only focus on SME start-ups and the creation of new jobs in SMEs and calls for efforts to maintain existing jobs through the promotion of business transfers to employees under the cooperative form as successful types of business transfers, as is proven by their high survival rates and thanks to their capacity to reinforce sustainability and employment.

The European Parliament asks Member States to foster the development of a strong entrepreneurial culture, also through the promotion of apprenticeship schemes within SMEs.

Moreover, the document calls on the Member States to enforce the legislation on the equal access of SMEs to public procurement.

Being aware of the need for a regulatory environment that encourages investment that “concurrently fosters sustainable growth and quality jobs”, the European Parliament emphasises the importance of the social and solidarity-based economy, which provides employment for more than 14 million people, in other words close to 6.5 % of workers in the EU, and recognizes access to finance as a barrier faced by social economy enterprises in particular.

The text also mentions social economy enterprises and cooperative entrepreneurship while underlining the role of forward-looking legislation and process facilitation in the context of rapid developments in the knowledge-intensive and highly innovative SME sector.

Public consultation on the European Pillar of Social Rights: let’s use the doors that are open for us!

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Never has the European integration process undergone a stronger scrutiny than these times. Much is at stake. At the same time, opportunities to build a stronger, citizen-driven Europe arise.

Among the “hot issues” figures the ongoing work of the European Commission on the “European Pillar of Social Rights” (REVES had informed its members on this initiative and the ongoing public consultation).

To recall: 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, it will be used as 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 in Europe. It will certainly have an influence on the orientation of funds, as well.

The REVES secretariat is in the process of drafting the REVES position to be submitted to the European Commission.

In parallel we are in touch with members of the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions. Both institutions are currently preparing their opinion on the initiative. Comments and concrete examples of REVES MEMBERS would be very much appreciated and might be integrated in these opinions.

We invite you to take this additional, unique opportunity to share your point of view with European policy-makers by responding to the short list of questions downloadable HERE. All of them are part of the public consultation, sometimes slightly reformulated.

Your comments will be part of the REVES position. Members will be quoted in the joint REVES position, unless they do not wish to be mentioned.

Moreover, we will prepare a dossier on concrete practices to be shared also among all REVES members.

Please send your contributions by 19 September 2016 to office@revesnetwork.eu / eka@revesnetwork.eu

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