From Plan to Action

Brussels and European Parliament buidling
© Merlin Meuris for EVPA

On 13 June 2023, the European Commission adopted the long-awaited proposal on developing social economy framework conditions, a key step for implementing the Social Economy Action Plan. The proposal aims to help member states better adapt their policies and laws to the specific needs of the social economy.  

This would be relevant for any impact stakeholder, but is especially so for the needs of EVPA’s membership community, as we participated in advocacy efforts on this topic last year.  

We proposed four recommendations on developing social economy frameworks – and hit the jackpot! All of our recommendations are reflected in the council recommendation on developing social economy framework conditions.  

1. Access to finance

Access to appropriate funding is crucial for the growth and sustainability of social economy organisations. Aligned with EVPA’s recommendation, the proposal recognises this need and highlights the importance of ensuring that social economy organisations can access finance at the right stage of their development and tailored to their unique requirements. In practice, tailoring to needs means that impact investors can provide patient capital, risk-tolerant funding and innovative financial instruments that support the growth trajectory of social economy organisations.


2. Increase opportunities for cross-functional collaborations

At EVPA, collaboration is at the heart of everything we do; we actively promote cross-sectoral collaboration and facilitate the exchange of valuable knowledge and data. In alignment with this mission, the proposal encourages member states to create an enabling environment that nurtures knowledge sharing, skills development and mutual support. The proposal aims to put mechanisms in place to foster a constructive dialogue between public authorities and organisations representing the social economy ecosystem.


3. Enhance public-private partnership

EVPA advocates for placing public-private partnership at the core of the social economy. But why? Public-private partnerships harness the expertise, resources and networks of both spheres, maximising their collective potential for social good. The result? Ground-breaking projects, sustainable solutions and a more inclusive and resilient social economy. The proposal urges member states to promote public-private partnerships, along with other innovative financing structures.


4. Strengthen accountability and transparency through impact measurement and management (IMM)

EVPA members are pioneers in impact measurement and management. We highlighted the importance of IMM in our recommendation and were pleased to find we’re not alone in our position. The proposal encourages member states to incorporate IMM practices and methodologies in national policy frameworks and programs linked to the social economy; it calls on all social economy organisations to measure their impact. The proposal encourages these actors to use funds available on national level, such as ESF+, to fund their IMM activities.  


In parallel to the proposal, the European Commission launched  on which EVPA also had an influence. We contributed to stakeholder consultations and provided relevant feedback on the gateway’s structure.  

The gateway serves as a one-stop destination for all things related to the social economy. From EU funding opportunities and training programs to upcoming events and country-specific information, you'll find a wealth of resources to support your social economy initiatives – whether you're a social entrepreneur, a nonprofit organisation or a policymaker.  

So, don't miss out on this invaluable resource! Explore the gateway today and unlock a world of possibilities for driving positive change through the social economy.


What's next?

With the proposal set to be adopted by the Council of the EU, a new chapter unfolds, urging member states to swiftly adopt or update their national strategies for the social economy within 18 months. As Spain takes its turn leading the Council of the EU, the future of the Social Economy lies in the hands of the Spanish Presidency. We count on the words of the Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, assuring that “social economy is going to be one of the great priorities of the Spanish Presidency of the EU.”  

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