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SOLIDAR calls for the full recognition and promotion of the social economy as an alternative economic model that links economic performance with the realisation of social, health, employment and housing policy goals.
What is the social economy?
The social economy is made up of organisations - cooperatives, mutual societies, associations, foundations - whose economic activity stems from their primary goal to achieve social or societal objectives of general interest rather than generating profit for their owners, members and stakeholders.
Social enterprises are managed in an accountable, transparent and democratic way, in particular by involving workers, customers and stakeholders affected by its economic activity in its decision making. The sector represents 10% of all European businesses, with two million undertakings or 6% of total employment.
What we want
SOLIDAR supports the European Commission’s intention to promote social enterprises as an important social economy actor, but needs to see a clear definition taking up the above-mentioned characteristics.
Furthermore, SOLIDAR calls on policy makers to recognise and promote the role of not-for-profit social service providers in providing social and health services, in creating employment opportunities as well as in strengthening social cohesion by providing the necessary legal and financial conditions. In order to properly use the job potential of the not-for-profit sector, the EU should support more ambitiously the creation of sustainable quality employment and decent work conditions that would attract people to enter the sector.
What we do
In 2011, SOLIDAR together with the European Alliance for the Statute of the European Association successfully lobbied on the parliamentary Written Declaration calling for the adoption of a European Statute for Associations and implementing legislative and regulatory frameworks on competition and the internal market. This would give associations, as it has been the case for cooperatives, a legal framework making it easier for them to operate in the social economy sector.
In 2012, SOLIDAR contributed to the European Parliament report on social businesses and published, together with Social Services Europe, a briefing paper putting forward recommendations to EU policy makers on how to use better exploit the employment potential in the health and care service sector.
Read SOLIDAR’s contribution to the European Parliament resolution on social economy.