On the 7th December 2015, EU Ministers responsible for employment and social policies, health and consumers affairs (the so-called EPSCO Council), meeting under the Luxembourgish EU Council Presidency, adopted for the first time a clear political message to the European Commission and EU Member States in order to promote social economy and develop an appropriate institutional, legal and financial ecosystem for all social economy enterprises and organisations.

Key recommendations include:

–  the development and implementation by Eurostat and national statistical authorities of satellite accounts to document the macro-economic role the sector

– the development of sound and comprehensive legal frameworks to unlock the potential of the social economy in terms of growth and employment;

the inclusion of social economy-related topics in the curricula of all levels of education and training

– to support experience-sharing and foster best practices among Member States on social economy e.g. through peer-reviews

– to effectively deploy major policies and instruments, such as Horizon 2020, structural funds and better regulation policy initiatives to support social innovation and  social economy;

– to make active use of EU financial instruments to improve the access to finance of social economy enterprises and organisations, and social innovation; consider new specific guarantee schemes

– to take into consideration the social economy in the framework of the review of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, to  promote and support the social economy in particular in countries with high rates of  unemployment

The Council Conclusion are based on a common and inclusive understanding of the social economy that refers to a plurality of organisations such as cooperatives, mutual funds, associations, foundations as well as newer forms of social enterprises.

Read the Council conclusions at  http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-13766-2015-INIT/en/pdf

Read Social Economy Europe press release at http://www.socialeconomy.eu.org/blog/historic-council-conclusion-promotion-social-economy