The Communication on the Social Business Initiative states that 'the Commission … shall … set up a consultative multi-stakeholder group on social business to examine the progress of the measures envisaged in this Communication … this group could be made up of representatives of the Member States, local authorities, social entrepreneurs' organisations, the banking and finance sector and the academic and university sector.' The group (GECES) was therefore set up for six years (2012 – 2017), and will be consulted by the Commission on the development, setting up and implementation of all the actions mentioned in the SBI, or further development of social entrepreneurship and social economy.
This report, unanimously endorsed during the 11th GECES meeting in October 2016, is a call for action that argues for a European Action Plan for the Social Economy and Social Enterprises, which would provide new impetus to promote an enabling environment for social enterprises and the social economy to flourish.
In February 2012 a call for applications was made to select members of GECES.
In February 2015 a renewed call for applications was made to select new non-public members for the group.
To fulfill the wish of the Commission to adopt a more bottom-up approach that fosters a co-creation process stimulating further actions for social enterprise development, a new working method was endorsed by the GECES meeting of 16 September 2015.
The group will make recommendations for concrete actions by the end 2016 and this work will be carried out via 4 working groups (301 kB).
The recommendations should be based on appropriate rationale and directed to all stakeholders, private and public, national and European.
The working groups are led by a 'Rapporteur général':
The Single Market Act II states that 'the Commission will develop a methodology to measure the socio-economic benefits created by social enterprises. The development of rigorous and systematic measurements of social enterprises’ impact on the community … is essential to demonstrate that the money invested in social enterprises yields high savings and income.' The GECES sub-group was therefore set up in October 2012 to agree upon a European methodology which could be applied across the European social economy.
On 3 June 2014, the GECES adopted the sub-group report (also available in DE, ES, FR, IT, PL) in a vote via a formal written procedure. An absolute majority (39 out of 72 members) explicitly voted 'yes'. There was one 'no' vote. It was mentioned in the call for the vote the non-expression of a position would be considered as an implicit vote in favour of the adoption of the report.