With European elections approaching, Cecop, the European federation of industrial and service co-operatives, is calling on EU institutions to continue their support for the sector.
Cecop joined six other European networks in calling for stronger social economy and social innovation measures. Along with the European Microfinance Network, the Euclid Network, the Microfinance Centre, RREUSE, Caritas Europe and ENSIE, it has developed a set of recommendations for candidates standing for election.
Founded in 1979, CECOP has 27 member organisations across 15 European countries.
The manifesto notes that 2.8 million social economy enterprises employ 19.1 million people and account for 6.3% of the total paid workforce in Europe.
It argues that Europe could transition towards a more sustainable, inclusive economy – if it has the right policy framework and financial support.
The network calls on European institutions to set the European Pillar of Social Rights as a priority in the future EU agenda, and encourage member states to implement it.
It calls for consistent legal frameworks for social enterprises and microfinance institutions and improving the ease of access to EU (financial) support for social enterprises and microfinance institutions.
EU elections candidates are also advised to encourage public authorities to increase the number of public procurement contracts awarded to social enterprises.
The network suggests incentivising member states to reduce value-added tax for activities contributing to social welfare and maintaining the Social Economy Intergroup in the European Parliament during the next parliamentary cycle.