EU Green Deal –Social Economy Manifesto

SOLIDAR and SOLIDAR Foundation share the appeal of our member, Pour la Solidarité, on the EU Green Deal and adhere to their Social Economy Manifesto:

"The European Union aspires to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. In response to the environmental emergency, the European Commission, chaired by Ursula von der Leyen, has presented 
its Green Deal. It consists of an ambitious set of measures aimed at initiating a sustainable, fair and inclusive ecological transition.

This Green Deal is a new growth strategy for the European Union which promises to reconcile emission reduction with job creation through innovation. All sectors of the economy must be reformed together in order to ensure that the objectives set can be achieved (energy, buildings, industry, transport, etc.). This beneficial and necessary paradigmatic change will profoundly impact the current system and will stand for the destruction of jobs among vulnerable groups and the creation of new branches requiring specific training and know-how.

While the Commission “intends to leave no one or any region behind", the question arises as to which branch of the economy is capable for proposing inclusive solutions to the major future transformations in the labour market. A significant part of the answer lies in the investment and development of the social and solidarity economy (SSE) sector.

This sector, too often invisible, represents 10% of European Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs 6.3% of the EU's working population. Bringing together a set of structures based on common values and principles (solidarity, social utility, cooperation, local anchorage), this economic model is intended to serve society and citizens: the structures that are part of it are not aimed at personal enrichment but at sharing and solidarity for an economy that respects human beings and their environment .

While we welcome the fair and inclusive nature of the transition promoted by the Commission, we regret that the SSE is not directly and specifically mentioned in the Green Deal and especially since the President of the Commission has expressed the hope that a European action plan for the social economy aimed at fostering social innovation will be drawn up in the mission letter addressed to the Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, Mr Nicolas Schmit.

The development of the SSE is necessary for a truly inclusive transition to be achievable. Complementary and in synergy with the circular economy, it is essential for the ecological transition and will be crucial to ensure the inclusion of those most affected by this change. The SSE is an economic model that is by nature an actor of social transformations and ecological transition.

Therefore, we call on European political actors to recognize the SSE as an indispensable economic sector for achieving an inclusive ecological transition. The latter must henceforth receive financial and legal support in the Commission's initiatives. In return, it is essential to see in the Employment and Social Right Commissioner’s Action Plan a direct link between the strengthening of the social economy and the objective of ecological transition.

Finally, the European structural funds must play an active part in the development of the social economy at the service of the ecological transition by virtue of the importance of their budgets and their links with regional territories."