The Social Economy Intergroup (SEIG) has been renewed. Over 100 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) of the main political groups expressed their interest in renewing the Social Economy Intergroup. The decision was taken on the 19th of December 2019, by the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament.
The Social Economy Intergroup will play a key role in establishing a political dialogue with the European Commission to develop an ambitious European Action Plan for the Social Economy, announced some weeks ago by Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, in her mission letter to Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit.
The Social Economy Intergroup will be of outmost importance to mainstream the social economy perspective in the main EU’s social, economic and environmental policies, such as the Green New Deal, the SME and Industrial Strategies, the digital Single Market policies, the European Pillar of Social Rights, the agenda for the implementation of the SDGs or the external action of the EU.
Social Economy Europe (SEE) President, Juan Antonio Pedreño, commented : “I would like to thank all the MEPs that have supported the renewal of the Social Economy Intergroup and also all European Social Economy actors that have demonstrated, once again that alone, we are invisible, but together, we are unstoppable and capable of building a more sustainable European Union”.
The Social Economy Europe is the umbrella organization for social economy and the voice of social economy enterprises and organizations in Europe. It is the secretariat of the European Parliament’s Social Economy Intergroup. It provides a strong logistical support to the social economy intergroup. The intergroup works in a transparent and accountable manner. A publicly accessible webpage for the social economy intergroup is available on SOCIAL ECONOMY EUROPE’s website
The Social Economy Europe gathered the interest of MEPs. At the end of September, Patrizia Toia (S&D, IT), a long-time supporter of social economy, Nicolas Schmit (S&D, LU), MEP and Commissioner-Designate for jobs and Dolors Montserrat (EPP, ES), Leopoldo López (EPP, ES), Sven Giegold (Greens/EFA, DE) and Monica Semedo (Renew, LU) sent a letter to the 751 MEPs to encourage them to reestablish the Social Economy Intergroup.
About the social economy in Europe:
The social economy is an essential part of the European economic and social landscape formed by a diversity of enterprises and organisations such as cooperatives, mutuals, associations, foundations, social enterprises or paritarian institutions of social protection.
In the EU there are 2.8 million social economy enterprises and organisations, that employ 13.6 million people and account for 8% of the EU’s GDP.
About the Social Economy Intergroup in the European Parliament
The Social Economy Intergroup is a platform for exchange between members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and members of the civil society. It represents an essential link into the democratic process of the European Union. Objectives:
- to promote exchanges of views on EU policies and legislation linked to social economy issues,
- to provide regular opportunities for dialogue between MEPs, social economy experts, European Commission officials, civil society representatives and other relevantstakeholders,
- to bring together MEPs from all political parties and all member states,
- to ensure that the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers take into account the social economy and its actors whilst developing their policies.
Meetings are organised every two months on a regular basis, either in Strasbourg or Brussels. They bring together MEPs, representatives of other EU institutions and representatives of civil society.
- Monitoring of legislation
The intergroup follows closely the work of the European Parliament’s Committees. It can make proposals, and inform MEPs about relevant issues for the social economy.
Considered as genuine awareness raising tools, memorandums have been developed in view of a greater recognition of the social economy.
- Parliamentary questions
The intergroup can call upon the Council and/or the European Commission to offer a clear answer to questions of concern to social economy actors on a wide range of topics.
Support is provided to the organisation of events aimed at the promotion of parliamentary work on social economy.
- Relation with the press
The social economy intergroup is also able to disseminate information to the press in order to inform the European citizens of matters of interest.
The social economy intergroup already has a positive track record.
Created in 1990, it was successively chaired by French MEP Marie-Claude VAYSSADE, Italian MEP Fiorella GHILARDOTI, French MEP Marie-Hélène GILLIG, and Belgium MEP Philippe BUSQUIN. Throughout the years, the social economy intergroup has played a significant role in the EU democratic process.
- EP Own initiative report on social economy
In 2005, members of the intergroup triggered the demand for the establishment of an own initiative report on Social economy in the European Parliament. The request was accepted in 2008. Italian MEP Patrizia TOIA was appointed rapporteur for the Employment and Social Affairs Committee. The report was adopted in plenary on 19th February 2009 with nearly 80% of the votes in favor.
The intergroup bi-monthly meetings have provided precious opportunities for discussion for more than 30 EU and national level organisations.