The European Parliament recognises the Social Economy businesses


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The European Parliament recognises the Social Economy businesses

The European Parliament has approved a resolution that urges all member states and the European Commission to start programmes that “promote Social Economy businesses” in the light of the current economic crisis.

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Image: The Italian Euro MP, Patrizia Toia, author of the report

The report, elaborated by the Italian Euro MP, Patrizia Toia, was approved in plenary session on the 19th February 2009, by an absolute majority; with 580 votes in favour, 27 against and 44 abstentions. After a 5-month process, the so-called Toia Report, has pushed the members of the Parliament to become aware of the importance of social economy businesses. In turn, the Parliament, with its approval, transfer the need to promote this type of economic activity to the rest of EU institutions, particularly to the European Commission and the member states.

The resolution seeks legal recognition at the European level for this type of business as a “different type of business” in which social benefits prevail over financial profitability. Likewise, the resolution proposes the development of a European statute for foundations, associations and mutual funds, following the example of the European co-operative society statues, in place since 2003.

Currently, there are more than two million social economy businesses in Europe, which account approximately 10% of the European business fabric. They provide 6% of the total continental employment.

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