A significant proportion of Europe's economy is intended to make profits for people other than investors or owners. Known as the ‘social economy’, it includes cooperatives, mutual societies, non-profit associations, foundations and social enterprises. They operate a very broad number of commercial activities, provide a wide range of products and services across the European single market and generate millions of jobs. Social enterprises are also the engine for social innovation.
Social economy enterprises are important because of their
The Commission aims for a level playing field in which social economy enterprises can compete effectively and fairly, without regulatory discrimination and taking into account their particular needs. To promote a highly competitive social market economy, the Commission has addressed the issue in
The Commission submitted the following proposals to the Council of the European Union
In 2003, the statute for a European cooperative was adopted. The other 2 proposals of 1992 were withdrawn in 2006 by the Commission due to lack of legislative progress, while the last one on the European foundation was withdrawn by the Commission due to lack of progress within the Council (December 2014).
We launched the European social economy regions pilot (ESER) in February 2018. It aims to raise visibility and awareness about the social economy at the regional and local level. ESER supports regional authorities that organise awareness-raising events. There, we encourage regional social economy stakeholders (regional/local public authorities, SMEs, social enterprises etc.) to build active networks. Between 2018-2020, the ESER initiative generated more than 100 new regional and local partnerships, without any financial support from the European Commission.
The recently launched ESER 2020 attracted many regional and local social economy stakeholders who will organise awareness-raising events during 2020. In addition to previous years, the 2020 edition offered regions and cities that already played an active role in 2018/2019, the opportunity to raise their awareness-raising activities to the next level. The ESER 2.0 component motivated many ESER partners to come up with innovative proposals. This led to partners involving citizens in regional debates about the social economy or joining forces with neighbouring regions and cities, further developing the interregional dimension.
More than 30 regions and cities from EU countries and COSME third countries applied for ESER 2020.
During the European Social Economy Summit in Mannheim (26-27 November), regional and local social economy stakeholders (the ESER partners) have another opportunity to share knowledge and table proposals/recommendations for social economy policies.
See the ESER 2020 official partners.
Satellite accounts for cooperatives and mutuals (2009): The objective was to develop reliable statistics on cooperatives and mutuals at national and European level. The projects were
Beneficiary: Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia
Beneficiary: State Statistical Office (FYROM)