EU Action Plan for Social Economy: The Social Employers position & Joint Statement with EPSU

The Social Employers submitted its position on a future EU Action Plan for Social Economy, as well as a joint statement with EPSU highlighting the importance of developing social dialogue in the Social Economy.

The European Commission will propose an Action Plan for the Social Economy in the fourth quarter of 2021 to enhance social investment, support social economy actors to start up, scale up, innovate and create jobs. The Social Employers strongly supports this initiative, which should include clear and concrete objectives within a set time frame.

The Action Plan should highlight the contribution of Social Economy actors during the crisis, as well as their role in lifting societies out of the crisis. It should propose concrete measures for better support systems that prioritise them, also in terms of equipment allotments and funding.

The Social Employers highlights four main priorities:

  • Definition and visibilitythe role of the Social Economy must be recognised as essential to achieve Europe’s social objectives, for this, a clear definition of the Social Economy scope and more visibility are needed.
  • Investment in Social Economy: better recognition through stronger financing support. The Action Plan should call on Member States to develop and reinforce EU, national, regional, or local funding instruments, and promote policies for public and private investments in the Social Economy.
  • Digitalisation & skills development: develop skills, prepare for the digital transition, and seize its opportunities. The Action Plan should promote policies helping the development of core skills and new skills and stimulate innovation and new technologies.
  • The role of social dialoguethe Action Plan should address the need to further develop social dialogue in the Social Economy, and especially at sectoral level in social services, where it is crucial to tackle current workforce challenges and best prepare for the future.

The Social Employers and EPSU also took this opportunity to launch a joint statement, to call together on the European Commission to acknowledge and strengthen the role of social partners in developing a framework for the social economy.

Both organisations point out the need to further develop social dialogue and collective bargaining in the Social Economy, and especially at sectoral level in social services. The social services sector is currently the biggest economic sector in terms of employment which is still outside the scope EU-level sectoral social dialogue. For this reason, the expressed common objective is to work towards a coverage of the whole sector of social services by structures of EU-level social dialogue.

Read the Social Employers position, here.

Read the Social Employers and EPSU Joint Statement, here.