SSE represents the 2.8 million social economy enterprises and organisations in Europe – which account for 8% of the EU’s GDP and 6% of employment (14 million workers).
Its members include co-operative and mutual insurers, health mutuals, industrial and service co-operatives, foundations, associations of general interest, social enterprises, ethical and alternative banks and financial institutions and cities and regions supporting the social economy.
Social Economy Europe president, Juan Antonio Pedreño, said: “We are extremely happy to welcome Cecop-Cicopa Europe to Social Economy Europe.
“Co-operatives active in industry and services, as an important part of the co-operative movement, are a key pillar of the social economy. Together, we will continue strengthening the voice of the European social economy, we will boost our visibility and we will tirelessly work for a more conducive ecosystem for all social economy enterprises and organisations, allowing us to further contribute to economic and social progress for all.”
Mr Pedreño is also president of the Spanish Business Confederation of Social Economy (CEPES).
Cecop-Cicopa Europe president, Giuseppe Guerini, added: “Co-operatives in industry and services have always been a structural component of the social economy. SEE is the natural place where to grow together with other organisations that share and promote economic democracy, citizens’ participation in the construction of a fair, free and inclusive market composed by different forms of enterprises.
“We are very pleased to become a member of SEE with whom we have been sharing vision and goals for a long time. In particular, in this delicate moment of the EU history the role of organisations bringing people together, fostering unity and participation in order to achieve solidarity and social inclusion is crucial. A strong social economy contributes to a greater future for Europe.”