Cooperatives Europe welcomes the co-designed proximity and social economy transition pathway.

PRESS RELEASE –  On Monday, November 14, the European Commission unveiled the transition pathway for the ‘proximity and social economy’ ecosystem.

The launch event took place on Monday evening and gathered many stakeholders as well as Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton. The Commissioner unveiled the long-awaited document and reminded the importance of its co-implementation at all levels, from Member States to practitioners and social economy organisations.

The transition pathway aims at enabling actors in the ecosystem to deliver on the twin transition while fostering a more sustainable, fair, and resilient economy in the EU. This file naturally complements the social economy action plan and the renewed European industrial policy, both launched in 2021.

Cooperatives Europe welcomes the transition pathway. It is pleased by the thorough consultation process the Commission had foreseen, and in which Cooperatives Europe could participate. During this process, Cooperatives Europe stressed certain elements that it believes to be crucial and is glad to see them supported in the final document under specific action areas.

Cooperatives Europe, for instance, strongly supports the use of sandboxes for experimentation of green or digital innovations, Tech for Good and pilots. Cooperatives Europe also pushed for fiscal incentivisation to foster innovation uptake and the dissemination of good practices in this area. It is particularly pleased to see that the idea of better leveraging the European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH) network and its tools was picked up and used to boost cooperation and promote a digital social economy.

The launch event was also an opportunity for stakeholders to present their commitments towards the co-implementation of the pathway. Cooperatives Europe pledged to work on the issue of skills mismatch, both in the green and digital transition.

Cooperatives Europe believes in the need to empower the next generation of social economy entrepreneurs, to educate them about environmentally and socially sustainable business models, and to equip them with relevant skills for them to successfully green or digitalise their operations and scale-up innovations.

Commenting on the Transition Pathway, Cooperatives Europe’s president Susanne Westhausen said:

The transition pathway was an important deliverable of the social economy action plan, and we are pleased to see the outcome of months of co-creation. Cooperatives Europe will work in collaboration with other stakeholders for the success of this instrument that will help cooperatives and social economy organisations to be drivers of a fair, inclusive, and sustainable twin transition.”

Download the Transition Pathway – Proximity and Social Economy here.

Background:  European Commission news article on the topic.


Cooperatives Europe is the European cross-sectoral organisation representing cooperative enterprises. On behalf of its 86 member organisations from 34 European countries across all business sectors it promotes the cooperative business model in Europe.

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