On 13 June 2023 the European Commission issued its proposal for a Council Recommendation on developing social economy framework conditions.
This Recommendation, once adopted, is a political act of primary importance, as it has to be agreed by all Member States which, by this act, commit themselves to pursue the objectives identified in the document.
The proposal refers to several areas in which the position and the role of the social economy is to be improved:
- Access to labour market and social inclusion
- Labour market policies
- Social inclusion
- Training and skills development
- Social innovation
- Fair twin transition
- Access to public and private funding
- Social economy entities’ access to markets
- State aid rules
- Taxation system
- Social impact measurement
- Awareness, research, data and statistics
The document also contains a rather comprehensive definition of social economy which, in REVES view, counteracts the risk of watering down some key features of the social economy.
Several points of the Recommendation relate to support to and/or cooperation with public authorities also at local and regional level. They refer, for example, to public procurement, capacity-building of civil servants, state aid, cohesion policy (including place-based investment such as CLLD) or governance-related topics. Moreover, in the proposal it is suggested that “… Regions and other subnational levels could adopt social economy strategies that are clearly linked to regional development objectives and priorities, maximising the mutual benefits.”
The proposal will now be submitted to the Council for internal discussion. After adoption of the Recommendation by the Council, Member States will have 18 months to adopt or review national strategies for the social economy. The Commission will then monitor the implementation of the strategies through regular consultations with Member States via the Employment Committee and the Social Protection Committee.
REVES cities, regions and social economy member organisations will discuss the proposal. A position paper will be published shortly.
The proposal can be found here: https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=89&furtherNews=yes&newsId=10594
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