Europe and its regions need a prospering social economy to face upcoming challenges
Regions and cities want to tap into the potential of social economy and social entrepreneurship to support the transition towards more socially and environmentally sustainable and more resilient economic models in the EU.
However, the EU must put in place more favourable framework conditions for the social economy to flourish. This requires tackling the current diversity of definitions and legal frameworks and facilitating access to finance and markets. These are the key messages of an opinion drafted by Ricardo Rio (PT/EPP), Mayor of Braga, and adopted at the European Committee of the Regions' plenary session on 8 February.
In Europe there are 2.8 million social economy enterprises, representing 10% of all businesses in the EU. Almost 13.6 million people – about 6.2% of the EU's employees – work for social economy enterprises. On top of the paid workforce, social economy mobilises volunteers, equivalent to 5.5 million full-time workers.
With this opinion, the European Committee of the Regions brings forward its suggestions ahead of the upcoming European Commission proposal for a Council Recommendation on Developing social economy framework conditions, which features in European Commission 2023 work programme. The Committee underlines the strong local anchorage of social economy and calls for the national authorities to allow local and regional entities to implement measures best suited to the local context to support the development of the social economy on their territory, also drawing on available EU co-funding.
“This opinion demonstrates the strong interest of cities and regional authorities on social economy and acknowledges its importance for the society, recognizing the importance of a vibrant social economy ecosystem for a sustainable development model in all territories”, rapporteur Ricardo Rio stresses. In order to create a favourable environment for social economy organizations, he points out the need for “several legislative initiatives at European and national level concerning taxation, public procurement, state aid, training and education, etc.”.
More here: https://cor.europa.eu/en/news/Pages/europe-upcoming-challenges.aspx
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