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.
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 ...
The European Economic and Social Committee, in cooperation with the French Ministry for Ecological and Inclusive Transition and the city and Eurometropole area of Strasbourg, held the 4th European Day of Social Economy Enterprises on the theme of The Social Economy: mobilising cities, regions and civil society. Pact for Impact for the European Union.
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.
This joint high-level event will focus on topical questions such as the challenges faced by Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to successfully adjust to the climate neutral and digitalised world. It will also analyse the possible avenues to help MSMEs to be well informed and prepared to grasp the opportunities of the transition to climate neutrality, coupling it with the possibilities offered by the digitalisation and hedging the current geopolitical risks.
While Europe and its societies are still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic and with the Conference on the Future of Europe in its closing stages, the EESC will be holding its annual Civil Society Days in March 2022.
The Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) cannot ignore the model of economic governance created by the social economy. Its existence is based on historical foundations anchored in many European countries where it is both a social and an entrepreneurial dynamic. In some other countries, it is the subject of renewed interest. The European Commission is devoting an action plan to it to unleash its full potential. The European Parliament has already dedicated many reports to it, but today it is necessary to take further steps. The social economy must be promoted in the work of the CoFoE, for its values and democratic principles, for its entrepreneurial diversity and for its role in enhancing active citizenship.
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has proved to be an endurance test for human and social rights, democratic values, the rule of law and economic resilience in the EU. While navigating stormy waters, organised civil society is playing a key role in coping with the countless pandemic-related challenges at European, national, regional and local level.
On 17 February 2021, the European Economic and Social Committee has organised a hearing in the framework of its exploratory opinion requested by the Portuguese presidency on The role of social economy in the creation of jobs and in the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.