With this debate, the ECO section is providing ex-ante input to the European Commission, in preparation for the upcoming 2023 strategic foresight cycle that wants to shed light on the strategic decisions needed to ensure a socially and economically sustainable Europe with a stronger role in the world in the coming decades.
This hearing will focus on topical questions such as the possible avenues to help MSMEs 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. It will also take into consideration the challenges faced by the Belgian companies and the opportunities offered to them if they successfully adjust to the climate neutral and digitalised world.
This joint high-level event focused 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 has also analysed 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.
The EESC organised its 4th edition of the European Day of Social Economy Enterprises in Strasbourg, on 27 November. The event which was coorganised by the City of Strasbourg and the Eurometropole, and the French Ministry for an ecological and solidary transition was entitled ''The Social Economy: mobilising cities, regions and civil society. Pact for Impact for the European Union''. The aim of the event was to review the progress made in setting up an ecosystem for social enterprises and to see what are the next steps for this model of enterprise model to be recognized and more widely disseminated.
In the framework of its own initiative opinion on "Blockchain and distributed ledger technology as an ideal infrastructure for Social Economy", the EESC organizes on 29 May 2019 a public hearing on "Blockchain: technology for the social economy 4.0".
The objective of the hearing will be to give the floor to experts in the field, but also to present case studies aiming at showing how Social Economy can benefit from this new technology.
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.