COS-SEM-2020-4-01: Social economy missions

The general objective of this call for proposals is to follow-up on a successful European Social Economy Regions 2018 (ESER) pilot that established a basis for creation of effective networks of social economy stakeholders at regional level across Europe, and to boost inter-regional collaboration in the field of social economy. The project is aiming at engaging a network of regional and local authorities established in the EU and COSME participating countries, and stakeholders with similar social economy priorities and creating space for inter-regional learning and collaboration. An enhanced inter-regional cooperation in the field of social economy will contribute significantly to a gradual building of a social economy community of practice as an integral part of a sustainable European economic model.

The specific objectives to be achieved through this call for proposals are the following:

  • Enhancing interaction and improving collaboration between existing social economy networks and stakeholders at regional and local level in the field of priorities of “Social economy missions”
  • Boosting inter-regional learning between social economy stakeholders (public and private sector) in the field of priorities of “Social economy missions”
  • Contributing to a gradual building of a Social Economy community

The “social economy missions” will bring together regional and local authorities with similar social economy priorities and accompanied by regional and local social economy stakeholders (social enterprises, cooperatives, SMEs, etc.).

Networks and umbrella organisations at various levels (European, national, inter-regional, regional, local) active in the field of social economy will be invited to enrich the missions’ exchanges and mutual learning within the established partnerships, including new, innovative approaches.

The “social economy missions” will help to gradually build an ecosystem of players, encouraging the interaction between different partners both at public and private level and thus contributing to development of the European social economy community.

Type of activities

The proposals for this call for proposals must clearly identify one topic which will be addressed in the “social economy mission”, explain why this issue is relevant for all consortium partners and specify the objectives to be achieved by the mission. The proposals can address one of the topics listed below or identify another topic of relevance to the consortium partners around the development of social economy provided that only one topic is addressed and the rationale for that particular topic is explained in the proposal. 

Possible topics can be:

  1. Building resilient regional and/or local ecosystems
  2. Socially responsible public procurement
  3. Building Clusters of Social and Ecological Innovation or participation in traditional clusters
  4. Support to social economy business development
  5. Support to local and regional initiatives in the area of green and digital transition
  6. Local or regional measures tackling unemployment
  7. Sustainable agriculture and rural development
  8. Education and training to develop the social economy ecosystem
  9. The development of horizontal policies to support social economy at local or regional level
  10. Social economy initiatives to integrate migrants
  11. Other (identified by the applicants)

The “social economy mission” will include at least 3 workshops organised by the consortia in their regions with regional or local public administrations acting as consortium leaders or partners participating with delegations consisting of social economy stakeholders active in a given territory.

The three compulsory workshops can be followed by additional learning activities among consortium partners such as additional workshops, webinars, peer-to-peer learnings, etc. or by other additional activities that would be beneficial for the project.

Timeline of these activities will be outlined in compliance with and respecting the project duration - up to 12 months.

Eligibility of applicants

Applicants must be legal entities forming a consortium.

The coordinator must be a regional or local public administration (such as municipality, city, region, etc.). The consortium partners must be regional or local public administration (such as municipality, city, region, etc.).

Only applications from legal entities established in the following countries are eligible: 

  • EU Member States
  • Countries participating in the COSME programme pursuant to Article 6 of the COSME Regulation

Eligible consortia

Proposed consortia must include at least three different regional or local public administration (such as municipality, city, region, etc.) from three different EU Member States or countries participating in the COSME programme.

The eligibility requirement of three different EU Member States or countries participating in the COSME programme does not apply to regional or local public administrations from EU’s outermost regions or overseas countries and territories (see Call for proposals for more details).

In addition to the minimum number of required consortium partners, network or umbrella organisations in the field of social economy or social entrepreneurship or related issues at inter-regional, national, EU or COSME countries’ level can participate as consortium partners.

The participation of the same regional or local public administration in more than one proposal is not permitted. However, umbrella or network organisations active at inter-regional, national or EU/COSME level can participate in more than one proposal. The same principle will apply for members of the territorial delegations.

Submission of proposals

The deadline for electronic submission is 9 June 2020, 17:00 hours (Brussels time).

The link to the submission system is available on the Funding and Tenders Portal. Please refer to the Guide for Applicants (listed below) before commencing the electronic submission.

Information session

Information session in a form of a webinar took place on 27 April at 15:00 hours (CET) via WebEx. The presentation used during the webinar is available under Documents section below.


Potential applicants should address questions related to the content of this call by e-mail to Only questions sent to this functional mailbox will be answered.

Answers will only be published periodically and within reasonable time on this page. Last questions to be answered are those submitted at least 7 days prior to the closing date of this call.

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