Strasbourg, 20 November 2012 - European Parliament resolution of 20 November 2012 on Social Business Initiative

- Creating a favourable climate for social enterprises, key stakeholders in the social economy and innovation

The European Parliament:

1. Welcomes the Commission Communications ‘Social Business Initiative’ and ‘Towards a job-rich recovery’, with recommendations to national governments on improving the framework conditions for social enterprises which can lead to new opportunities and jobs, inter alia in the fast-growing area of health and social care (the so-called white sector) and in the environmental area (the so-called green sector) – two areas that offer new chances to the social and wider economy;

2. States that the social economy is part of the eco-social market economy as well as of the European single market, and points to its high resilience to crises and to its solid business models; underscores that social enterprises often seek to meet social and human needs which are not – or only inadequately– met by commercial operators or the state; stresses that jobs in the social economy are more likely to be kept local;

3. States that social enterprise means an undertaking, regardless of its legal form, which:

  1. has the achievement of measurable, positive social impacts as a primary objective in accordance with its articles of association, statutes or any other statutory document establishing the business, where the undertaking:

    • provides services or goods to vulnerable, marginalised, disadvantaged or excluded persons, and/or

    • provides goods or services through a method of production, which embodies its social objective;
  2. uses its profits first and foremost to achieve its primary objectives instead of distributing profits, and has in place predefined procedures and rules for any circumstances in which profits are distributed to shareholders and owners, which ensure that any such distribution of profits does not undermine its primary objectives; and

  3. is managed in an accountable and transparent way, in particular by involving workers, customers and/or stakeholders affected by its business activities;

14. Stresses that social enterprises are important provides of Services of General Interest (SSGI); points out that such enterprises often stem from, or are closely linked to, civil society organisations, voluntary organisations and/or welfare associations providing person-oriented services and designed to respond to vital human needs, in particular the needs of users in vulnerable position; points out that social enterprises often find themselves between the traditional private and public sectors delivering public services, i.e., in the framework of public procurement;

15. Considers that the notion of corporate social responsibility (CSR) should be viewed separately from that of the social economy and social enterprises, even though commercial enterprises with significant CSR activities can have a strong interconnection with social business;

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20.11.2012 - Strasbourg – European Parliament resolution of 20 November 2012 on Social Business Initiative

– Creating a favourable climate for social enterprises, key stakeholders in the social economy and innovation

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