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

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 night and gathered many stakeholders as well as Commissioner Breton, in charge of the Internal Market. After thanking the collective efforts of all those involved, 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. It naturally complements the social economy action plan and the renewed European industrial policy, both launched in 2021.

At Cooperatives Europe, we welcome the transition pathway and are pleased by the thorough consultation process it went through and in which we participated. During this process, we stressed certain elements that we believe to be crucial, and we are glad to see them supported in the final document under specific action areas.

We, for instance, strongly supported the use of sandboxes for experimentation of green or digital innovations, Tech for Good and pilots. We also pushed for fiscal incentivisation to foster innovation uptake and the dissemination of good practices in this area. Cooperatives Europe was 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. For the occasion, Cooperatives Europe pledged to work on the issue of skills mismatch, both in the green and digital transition.

We believe in the need to empower the next generation of social economy entrepreneurs, to educate them about environmentally and socially sustainable business models, 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 below

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