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

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!

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 /

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

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 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!

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

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


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

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:

SINGLE DIGITAL GATEWAY: public consultation process now open!

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:

REVES Yearbook of excellences 2015 – Download it now!

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!

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

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


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

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  ( and the BESPAT website (

 Please find here the final guide:

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

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…