Under Pressure: Evolution of the Social Economy Institutional Recognition in the EU

23 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2020

See all articles by Andrea Bassi

Andrea Bassi

University of Bologna - Department of Political and Social Sciences

Alessandro Fabbri

University of Bologna

Date Written: September 2020

Abstract

Social Economy encompasses a wide array of private organizations that can be situated along a continuum that ranges from civil society to the business sector, e.g., associations, foundations, cooperatives, social enterprises, social business initiatives. The social sphere populated by SE/TS organizations operates in complex and multi‐layer environments and is particularly sensitive to institutional configuration. This paper deals with the institutional policy and attitude of the EU Commission towards SE/TS organizations in the field of welfare policy. We start with an illustration of the key features of the Social Investment policy framework, that stresses the adoption of an ‘active policy’ orientation and the overriding of more traditional ‘compensatory policies’. Secondly, we analyze the regulatory eco‐system of the EU towards Social Economy in the last three decades. Thirdly, we present the main results of an European research project aimed at analyzing the ‘level of recognition’ and ‘institutionalization’ of the SE sector in ten European Countries. Then, we provide some data about the consistency of the Social Economy in EU, based on several research reports promoted  by European Institutions (EESC). Finally, the main results of the analysis are summarized in order to assess the current conjuncture of the Social Economy sector in Europe.

Keywords: social economy, social enterprise, social investment, social innovation, welfare state

Suggested Citation

Bassi, Andrea and Fabbri, Alessandro, Under Pressure: Evolution of the Social Economy Institutional Recognition in the EU (September 2020). Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Vol. 91, Issue 3, pp. 411-433, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3686655 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/apce.12264

Andrea Bassi (Contact Author)

University of Bologna - Department of Political and Social Sciences ( email )

Strada Maggiore 45
Bologna, Bologna 40125
Italy

Alessandro Fabbri

University of Bologna

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40100
Italy

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