Combatting poverty and social exclusion: harnessing the power of the social economy and socio-economic innovations

EESC opinion: Combatting poverty and social exclusion: harnessing the power of the social economy and socio-economic innovations

Key points:

The EESC:

  • calls on the European Commission to push forward with its action plan for the social economy, to evaluate it in 2025 in order to feed into a new action plan, to actively support the implementation of the recommendation by the Member States and to explicitly integrate the social economy and social innovation policy into the next Commission work programme;
  • advocates a strong local approach that includes regions and municipalities by bringing together multiple stakeholders in policies for deploying the social economy. Under the impetus of public authorities it is possible to promote local development, the relocalisation of production tools, the creation of decent jobs that cannot be relocated, to encourage collaboration between economic actors and to create a stimulating ecosystem where associations, cooperatives, mutual societies, traditional businesses, investors in the banking sector, civil society, social partners and academia, among others, can come together;
  • calls on the Commission to take a cross-cutting approach, in its social innovation initiatives, bringing together multiple stakeholders from traditional businesses and the social economy, and encompassing environmental and social perspectives;
  • calls on the Commission to include the social economy and social innovation in its initiatives to develop the lines of action set out in its foresight report, to increase, first and foremost, the participation of women in the labour market. This is still a challenge for the other vulnerable population groups, including people with disabilities, young people and other under‑represented or excluded groups who are not in employment, education or training, or who live in extreme poverty;

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EESC opinion