Brussels, 15th December 2021
SSE Statement on the Social Economy Action Plan
Social Services Europe is active in a sector employing over 11 million people, of which about half are employed by social economy organisations. This also means that more than a third of the (estimated) 13.8 million paid jobs in the social economy is in the sector of social services. It is also characterised by a strong employment growth dynamic in the last 10 to 15 years (with an increase of the workforce of more than 10% only between 2013 and 2018), also due to growing social needs. The COVID-19 pandemic clearly showed its relevance, its resilience, but also exposed challenges and weaknesses.
Social Services Europe welcomes the newly launched Social Economy Action Plan (SE AP). We contributed to the development of the Action Plan through oral and written feedback in public consultations and meetings with the European Commission (EC). With the SSE Statement we share SSE’s first analysis of the Actions Plan's relevance for the provision of social services in the social economy. It is presented in three parts:
1. Social Services recognised as a crucial part of the Social Economy
2. More actions needed if the social economy and social services are to reach their potential
3. Social Services Europe available and interested in becoming a partner for the successful implementation of the Social Economy Action Plan
In the last part, we highlight that Social Services Europe is delighted to see that our call for “a participatory approach to policy design and implementation” is mentioned in the SWD(2021)373 final (p. 39). As written there and in SSE’s contribution to the EC consultation on the Roadmap for a Social Economy Action Plan, SSE underlines its interest and availability for a “co-creation process” (p. 39) and to work with the EC and the other relevant stakeholders on the successful implementation of the Social Economy Action Plan. For SSE, of particular importance in this regard is the Commission proposal for a Council Recommendation on developing social economy framework conditions and initiatives on social innovation and social entrepreneurship where SSE is ready to bring in the expertise and experience of our network and a social service providers angle.
For access to the full statement and SSE's first assessment of positive and helpful topics covered and initiatives announced, but also of problematic points please click here.