The common theme of the conference was how to stimulate the development of social enterprises in Europe. The aim was to give both a national and European dimension to the subject of social economy and social enterprises via the contribution of speakers and the profile of the invited participants. The recommendations of the GECES (Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship) report, officially approved at the 11th GECES meeting on the 14 October 2016 in Brussels, were discussed.
The conference was opened with speeches by the Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and the Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Family Jan Richter.
European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska delivered a speech (MP4) via video message. On the 2nd day, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, delivered a speech.
The conference was divided into 6 thematic workshops (PDF, 179 kB).
The Bratislava Declaration (PDF, 419 kB) on social economy as a key player in providing answers to current societal challenges was adopted at the conference by Cyprus, Slovenia, Romania, Italy, Slovak Republic, Luxembourg, Spain, Czech Republic, France and Greece.