The 2021 Action Plan for Social Economy

The 2021 Action Plan for Social Economy

Author: Paolo Montemurro, Consorzio Materahub (Italy)

Published on: 2022/01/10


The Action Plan closes the phase of partial recognitions with a full recognition of the social economy, of its more or less marked presence in all sectors (the “transversality” of the social economy), of its economic and social relevance, and of its still unexplored potential. In other words, recognizing the social economy as a different way of organizing not individual more or less niche activities, but any economic activity, without at the same time denying that there are areas of specialization.

For those who in recent years have been working for the recognition of the importance of the actual and potential contribution of social economy organizations to people’s well-being and economic, social and environmental sustainability , and not their indispensability in various sectors, the Action Plan proposed by the European Commission represents both an important point of arrival, because it closes the “recognition phase” of the social economy, and a starting point, stimulating reflection on how to give strength to this recognition and how to innovate not only support policies, but also various social and regulatory policies.

The Action Plan sets out a course of action to be implemented over the next 10 years and the main measures it envisages (38 in total, of which 10 are priorities) will serve to demonstrate that an economy that pursues a ‘general interest’ or ‘collective interest’ (a common good) is the most valuable ally of industrial public policies because it transforms the costs of social policies into investments by returning a more innovative and sustainable model of social protection.