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Promoting the Social Economy as a Driver for Inclusive Growth and Social Progress

Schneider, E. M. & Laino, E. (2014) “Promoting the Social Economy as a Driver for Inclusive Growth and Social Progress“, SOLIDAR: Together for Social Europe, Briefing 64, Μάρτιος.


The social economy is an essential pillar of the European social model and its actors play an important role in maintaining social services and in overcoming economic and social crises; in recent years 3.5 million new jobs have been created in the social economy. The social economy accounts for 10-12% of the European economy and its actors constitute an important economic force, stimulating innovation by pointing out existing deficiencies and inconvenient truths. By their nature and by the work they do, they contribute to establishing a more cohesive, democratic and active society, and often with favourable working conditions.

Five years of austerity measures have had a significant impact on the social situation in Europe. The EU is faced with ever higher unemployment and the lowest employment figures since the onset of the crisis. 24 million people without job, about the same number who can no longer live on their income and have become the working poor. 20 million people living at risk of poverty, a quarter of the EU’s total population. Nearly a quarter of economically active young people in Europe are unemployed: 5.6 million young people without a job The U has to step up efforts to promote a high level of employment, guarantee adequate social protection systems, and combat social exclusion. The focus needs to be shifted away from pure fiscal and financial consolidation towards social consolidation.


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