European Parliament adopts report on the Social Economy Action Plan

Today the report by the EP Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) was adopted in plenary by the European Parliament in Strasbourg.  The report incorporates suggestions and recommendations for a more ambitious implementation of the Social Economy Action Plan proposed by Cooperatives Europe earlier this year. We would like to congratulate the rapporteur Jordi Cañas and all the shadow rapporteurs for the incredible collaborative work they have achieved.

The report was already adopted by the EMPL Committee last month and comes after the recent EESC opinion. It is an opportunity to push the Commission to go further in its commitments. Most notably the necessary promotion of the cooperative model and its principles of democracy and members’ participation. The need for enhanced partnerships and cooperation between social economy entities and mainstream businesses was also highlighted, alongside the prerequisite for education, training, upskilling and reskilling schemes for better competitivity of the social economy organizations (SEOs) on the market.

While including these elements is a step in the right direction, we regret the absence of more ‘disruptive’ or ambitious measures which could have elevated the report and the Parliament to their true purpose as “citizen’s voice” in the EU. For instance, the report does not include (democratic) governance aspects as essential criteria of the social economy, especially regarding socially responsible procurement. Similarly, on capacity-building support measures for SEOs in their (start-up phase) stressed by the report, to ensure that young cooperatives or other SEOs get access to funding and training programmes early on in their development phase.

Cooperatives Europe hopes this report will nourish the Commission’s work for the Action Plan implementation. We stand ready to work on this matter hand in hand with the Commission to offer our member cooperatives and social economy as a whole the best chances to develop and thrive in the EU.

 

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