In the spring of 2021 The European Commission published a roadmap about the EU action plan for Social Economy and opened the stage for the feedback of stakeholders. The hungarian branch of SEIP and Hungarian Social Enterprise Coalition organized an event for the social enterprises and collected the opinions and feedbacks of the network.
The deadline of the feedback was 26th April 2021, but we would like to share our uploaded opinion:
1. As the SBI impact assessment has shown, the regulatory and legal environment for the social economy and social enterprises is still very different in the EU Member States. The ecosystem is also developing in Hungary, but the results of the development could be sustained if the various legal forms would be all recognized by the supporters and sponsors.
Social economy organizations can operate in the form of a non-profit company, foundation, association or cooperative. The legal form of social enterprises is even more colorful, in addition to following social goals and common principles, they can even be for-profit. Each legal form has its own function and role, but in many cases, due to lack of information or habit, sponsors and supporters do not allow certain legal forms. In some case of calls, legal forms do not appear widely, so social economy organizations do not have access to business development, digital or green growth grants.
Action is needed by the Commission and the governments of the Member States to ensure that social enterprises are not unduly excluded from areas of intervention, either in terms of legal form or geographical area. This can be ensured by further change of attitudes of supporters and requiring prudent organization.
2. The types of social enterprises are diverse, but this is not just about the legal form. Organizations operating in the social economy also differ according to their field of activity and their level of development and size. We could form a unified dialogue on the social economy and the development of social enterprises if we would be able to organize the tools and areas of intervention into a comprehensive strategy system.
Without EU-level and national strategies for the social economy and social enterprise, many identified and unidentified gaps remain in its ecosystem. This can cause problems in the development and sustainability of organizations, in solving economic and social problems.
There is a need to encourage, support and anticipate the development of holistic strategies. These documents can be created by an EU institution, Member State governments or networks and can clarify the role and needs of the social economy enterprises.We suggest that this work should have a high level of support and that strategies should be developed all Europe in general.
3. National and international collaborations result in significant improvements for the ecosystem and businesses. We see the direct results of organizations exchanging experiences, sharing their products and capacities. The SEIP network, with its international groups, facilitates the sharing and flow of information globally, but this also requires the strengthening of local platforms.
There is still a need to support national cross-border initiatives and build relevant contacts in third countries. These partnerships can do much to help understand global challenges and support sustainable development goals. Resources should be provided at both national and EU level to build links between social enterprises and networks.
Contribution to the EU Action Plan for the Social Economy
Download PDF • 53KB
The Hungarian Social Enterprise Coalition uploaded a detailed and accurate opinion: