The Social Economy Intergroup of the European Parliament was officially re-launched on 27th January. During this legislature, the MEPs have created 28 intergroups, constituted by MEPs from at least three different political groups, in order to meet lobbys, NGOs and citizens.
The new bureau will decide on the political priorities of the Social Economy Intergroup and its future activities. As a reminder, Social Economy represents 2 million enterprises and employs over 14 million paid employees in the European Union.
This 25-year lasting Intergroup will therefore continue to promote Social Economy and its values of Justice and Democracy for the next 5 years. The Intergroup will also call on the European Commission to include the development of the Social Economy sector among its main projects. The promotion of Social Economy can indeed contribute to job creation, growth, and further social cohesion in the European Union.
Jens Nilsson (S&D-Sweden), co-chair of the Intergroup, stated: “We believe that social economy organisations provide opportunities for people to contribute and play an active role in the development of a sustainable society. That's why social economy is so important in strengthening European democracy, and that's why we manage to get strong support from five different political groups in parliament. Now we look forward to continuing our dialogue with the sector”.
Alain Coheur, President of Social Economy Europe, the umbrella organisation in charge of the Secretariat, stated: “In this current context of economic and social crisis in the EU, the social economy has an important potential for growth and jobs creation that has to be promoted by EU Institutions. The Social Economy has demonstrated, during tough times, its capacity to keep jobs and to create quality one: for instance since 2008 170.000 new employments and 25.000 new enterprises were created in Spain, it is a huge success”.
The bureau plans to organise two public hearings this spring on the inclusion of the social economy among the political priorities of the European Commission for this new mandate.