Roadmap EU action plan for social economy – dopolnitve

Evropska komisija je objavila akcijski načrt za socialno ekonomijo in ga delila z deležniki z namenom oblikovanja odziva in vključitev le-teh v načrt.

Dopolnitve so pripravili: Kooperativa Buna, Ekvilib inštitut, socialno podjetje Skuhna, Tip&Tap so.p., Združenje CAAP; Platforma SLOGA, Etri skupnost, Združenje Socialna ekonomija Slovenije, Etika d.o.o., Center Noordung in Inštitut Association Social Economy Slovenia, Etika d.o.o., Center Noordung, and Institute za ekonomsko demokracijo.

Oddani predlog objavljamo v angleškem jeziku.

Cooperative Buna, Ekvilib Institute, social enterprises Skuhna, Tip&Tap d.o.o. and Association CAAP; SLOGA Platform, Etri Community, Association Social Economy Slovenia, Etika d.o.o., Center Noordung, and Institute for Economic Democracy welcome the upcoming EU Action Plan for the Social Economy aiming to enhance the contribution of social economy actors to a fair and sustainable development. Coming from a central Europe country facing a confusion of values due to the transition, we feel it is crucial however for the Action Plan to address the limited understanding of social economy by highlighting the values and principles that social economy (SE) fosters – including social responsibility and ethics – through (in)formal education and awareness raising.

Driven by a social and environmental mission social economy actors aim to create a long-term value through inclusive governance and investment of their profits back into the business, benefiting employees (also through various economic democracy forms, e.g. employee ownership), the community, and the environment, instead of copying mainstreamed business practices of short-term profit maximisation benefiting shareholders, in some cases at the expense of endangering human rights and the environment. Still, SE faces additional challenges entering the markets, competing for tenders, applying for loans, or forming business partnerships. A joint methodology for measuring social impact of social economy actors and for-profit companies alike would address these challenges as well as provide consumers and partners with added information to inform their purchasing or collaboration decisions. It is important that measuring goes beyond the needs of monitoring public spending efficiency and is established as a tool for creating diverse business cooperation, contributing to fostering multi-level cooperation with private companies and local governments. The Action Plan should strive to ensure future mainstream business models follow social economy actors’ example.

It is furthermore essential to support Member States, local authorities and also partner governments in establishing and strengthening eco-systems and legal frameworks to enable SE, increasing its resilience and sustainability. This should include but not be limited to provision of strong financial incentives (beyond grants and project-based financing or concessions), better access to public procurement (e.g. reserved public procurement for various social economy actors), improvement of access to various tailored public and private finance sources, and development of managerial and marketing skills of social economy actors

While we recognise the importance of an umbrella document for the implementation and monitoring, it is crucial to foster social economy in all policies to furthermore empower people with democratic governance skills. National Action plans for Social Economy should be mandatory and its implementation closely observed to ensure further development of SE, including its mainstreaming in MSs.

Among other, the EU Action Plan must encourage a strategic EU external action approach, diversifying private sector actors and recognising the impact SE has in empowering local communities and marginalised groups in the long run in the EU and its partner countries, and its potential to help achieve the SDGs. While ensuring Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development, fostering the SE must be an integral part of the EU and MSs’ international development policies, especially in the light of endeavours to strengthen private sector’s role in development cooperation. Furthermore, coherent and complementary Action Plan and announced corporate due diligence procedures on human rights and environmental protection along their value chains are of high importance.

As many of the above listed organisations have been previously consulted by OECD, we recommend considering their existing or in preparation studies too.

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