The Social Economy category is composed of 37 members, 36 drawn from the Various Interests' Group and one from the Employers' Group, representing cooperatives, mutual, associations, foundations and social NGOs.
The social economy sector covers a range of concepts used in the various Member States, such as the "solidarity economy" and the "third sector". Social economy enterprises are all inspired by common values such as solidarity, social cohesion, the primacy of the individual over capital, social responsibility, democratic management and the fact that they are not driven by profit and any profits are reinvested into the company and into society.
Thus, social economy is a different way of doing business, which continuously associates the general interest, economic performance, social considerations and democratic operation, nevertheless representing ten percent of all European business, with two million undertakings and six percent of the EU’s employment. As such, the social economy is a key element of the European socio-economic model.
The category has appointed as its spokespersons Polish member Krzysztof Balon, President of the Council of Working Community Associations of Social Organisations and Alain Coheur, member with responsibility for European and international relations in the Belgian National Union of Socialist Mutual Health Funds/Solidaris – both are members of the Various Interests' Group.
The secretariat of the category is provided by the Various Interests' Group.