European Social Economy Summit (#EUSES) is a conference program covering a line of conferences jointly organized by the European Commission and the City of Mannheim. The main target is to strengthen the social economy in Europe and harness its contribution to economic development, social inclusion as well as green and digital transitions.
On 26th and 27th November, as part of this conference series, a two-day virtual conference was held entitled “Recovery Strategy for Europe – which role plays the social economy in building a resilient and sustainable economy” with 60 different speakers in 15 different sessions over the two days that the more than 400 listeners could sign up for.
Michael Rafn from EEN Denmark / North Denmark EU-office participated along with two participants from the EU Commission and one from EEN Brussels in an expert panel giving insights on the topic; “The importance of SMEs in the Social Economy and in the recovery”. The panel debate sought to shed light on the following main issues:
- What role do SMEs play in the social economy and why are they important?
- How can “best practice” from the social economy help SMEs and their networks to become more resilient
- How can EEN help SMEs become more sustainable and resilient in their recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic
This panel debate took examples from different existing international projects e.g. key learning points from a current project on Circular Public Procurement (CPP) in which North Denmark EU-office is a project partner along with Aalborg Municipality (Denmark) and a number of Baltic Sea municipalities. References were made to project experiences from the two companies Råt & Godt and FleXskrald as good examples of how these start-up companies play a major role in the socio-economic environment and contribute in various ways to solving tasks in a sustainable way while simultaneously involving citizens challenged in the established job market or living on the edge of society.