Creating a European enabling framework for social and solidarity economy solutions

Nicole ALIX

Social economy manager

“Malevitch’s White on White forced painters to reconsider the essence of their art…
We need to change our glasses and decor, and head upstream to avoid systemic failings”.

The effects of the crisis-resolution strategies adopted by the European Union and the Member States in the coming months, whatever they may be, will not be felt immediately. The next 20 years will be tough. The theme of the 2012 Entretiens économiques européens (European Economic Debates) is Better appropriation of the European market for a more united social market economy.Bearing this in mind, Confrontations Europe has taken a closer look at ‘social economy’-specific contributions. For the last 40 years, we have continually used the term crisis to describe the endless periods of adjustment endured by our economy, whatever their cause, consequence, shape, or form. The social economy occupies a special role. And in the absence of a universal solution, it merits greater consideration. Of course, there can be no single and permanent definition of the social economy. What’s more, it has its weak points and must accept criticism.
However:
– The social economy has always provided answers in times of crisis;
– It provides specific solutions, not only over the short term in response to emergencies but also over the long term to pave the way for the economy of tomorrow;
– Although not a panacea, it should be encouraged on a European level.
WHAT SOCIAL ECONOMY CAN BRING TO EUROPE: A DIFFERENT, DECENTRALIZED, LONG-TERM VISION
The social economy can provide solutions, not just in terms of emergency measures and by rectifying the social exclusions created by the crisis, but also by acting as a lever for new development and social transformation. It can help reconcile citizens with Europe, which is beginning to be seen more as a threat than a promise.The social economy is in line with the development model of the future, i.e. renewed recognition of the value of local actions in globalisation, high-quality relationships (tangible and intangible), CSR and renewed concern for ethical behaviour (seeking the just AND the good, principles articulated and shared by social groups).
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