Europe is facing complex challenges calling for renewed social and economic models. To deliver progress, growth and wellbeing in Europe, a shift towards an innovation-based economy is needed. The EESC therefore calls on the European Commission to develop a policy framework to support these new business models emerging. The EESC calls on the Commission in the upcoming review of the Single Market strategy, due in 2017, to fully incorporate these new business models, and suggest new measures in this direction. It is crucial that Member States and the European Institutions fully recognise and promote "fairer" business models, which are centred on delivering innovation for social development by integrating social impact measurement in parallel to reporting economic progress.
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The EESC considers that social economy enterprises have a fundamental role since they are active in four key aspects of the migrant integration process: health and assistance, housing, training and education, as well as work and active inclusion. It believes that social economy enterprises can encourage and support not just the creation of new jobs, but also entrepreneurship and access to economic activities for migrants and refugees. It therefore asks the European institutions to prioritise policies geared towards social economy enterprises, a request it also made in its contribution to the Commission's 2018 work programme.
On 31 March, the President of the EESC, Georges Dassis, heading a 4-Member delegation, took part in the Fifth European Forum of Social Entrepreneurship in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The Forum provides an opportunity for social entrepreneurs to communicate directly with representatives of European and national institutions and to get more familiar with current policies for promoting the social economy. "Governments and public bodies have begun to recognise the importance of social entrepreneurship. Steps are being taken ...
In this era of digitalisation and globalisation, the EESC is calling for major efforts to implement balanced policies that put social, economic and environmental sustainability on an equal footing
To overcome the new imbalances and inequalities that have widened not only between the EU's different regions but also between social classes, genders and generations in European society, European policy-makers should ensure that social sustainability is taken into account in all their policies, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) said at its last plenary.
The Diversity Europe Group recently organised a structured brainstorming session aiming at encouraging its Members to think out of the box and to come up with ideas to feed into proposals for the Sibiu Summit on the Future of Europe. This session kick-started our Group's contribution to the EESC Roadmap 'From Cracow to Sibiu and beyond'.
The proposal for a European Pillar of Social Rights published by the European Commission elicited a critical first reaction from the secretaries general of UEAPME, EUROCHAMBRES and CEEP. Véronique Willems, Arnaldo Abruzzini and Valeria Ronzitti participated in the Employers' Group meeting to discuss their organisations' current priorities.
The EESC held the fourth of its Going Local meetings on the live-in care sector in the EU, this time in Poland. The country provides much of the sector's workforce in western EU Member States, but has itself started to face a serious shortage of qualified carers in recent years
During the 2ndEuropean day of Social Economy Enterprises (SEEs) at the EESC, over 130 social economy representatives called on policy-makers to scale-up their efforts to enable the development of the Social Economy. In his opening speech, Michael Smyth, EESC Vice-President, said:
Social Economy Enterprises have become crucial, not only because they contribute to social integration, territorial cohesion and new economic models, but also because they play a role in shaping the future of Europe.
The Social Economy Enterprise (SEE) model offers a framework for mobilising and enhancing newcomers' skills. SEEs facilitate the settlement and integration process for immigrants by providing them with employment or training and helping them with practical settlement support. Although they operate in different ways in different national contexts, Social Economy Enterprises have managed to define common principles of action – inclusive, subsidiary protection of the most disadvantaged people – taking a proactive approach to receiving migrants. In this way they have mobilised the relevant communities, activated networks and partnerships, and cooperated with central and local administrations to organise reception and integration processes.
The first European Day of Social Economy Enterprises brought together the EESC's institutional partners, as well as several stakeholders in order to have a comprehensive view of the situation, create synergies and discuss next meaures and actions to be taken in order to fully unleash the potential of the sector. The event entailed three workshops to allow participants to have their say.