This event will bring together more than 250 participants from 14 countries in Europe, Latin America and North America in the European Parliament to discuss this growing sector of the economy.

The growing social and solidarity economy (SSE) represents over 14 million jobs in the EU (around 6.5% of total employment) and has proved to be extraordinarily resilient to the impacts of the ongoing economic crisis as it generates employment and economic growth.

The event will consist of four open conference sessions and a broad range of speakers, including:
Nicolas Schmit, Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Economy, Luxembourg;
Ourania Antonopoulou, Alternate Minister of Labour, Social Insurance and Social Solidarity, Greece;
Michel Catinat, Head of Unit at DG Enterprise and Industry, European Commission;
Benedito Oliveira, Chief of Cabinet for the National Secretary of Solidarity Economy of the Ministry of Labour, Brazil;
And many others.

Additional speakers and event participants will include representatives of the European Commission, MEPs from other groups in the European Parliament, researchers, mayors, local experts and representatives of organisations and enterprises operating in the social and solidarity economy.

This event is a strategic group initiative organised by the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL). It is organised specifically by 13 Members of the European Parliament belonging to 10 delegations working together as part of GUE/NGL.

Background: There is an alternative

The social and solidarity economy (SSE) consists of cooperatives, associations, social enterprises, associations of informal workers and other grassroots groups and individuals that are all guided by principles of justice, democracy, cooperation, reciprocity, mutual aid and sustainability.

The social and solidarity economy represents an alternative proposal to the dominant economic model of production. The SSE understands the economy not as a goal, but as a tool to achieve individual and community welfare and development.

Moreover, the SSE has the potential to improve the quality of democracy through proposing frameworks for production and reproduction that are more compatible with fairer and more sustainable societies.

In May 2015, GUE/NGL decided to turn its long-time support for the SSE into one of its main strategic focuses for the current legislature of the European Parliament (2014-2019). Therefore, it has set the organisation of the first European Forum of Social and Solidarity Economy as one of its main goals for 2016, with the aim to promote an exchange of experiences among the different actors in the SSE in Europe, highlighting the problems faced by the sector, as well as its potential in tackling the effects of the economic crisis. Other actions in support of the SSE are expected to follow, with the intention to foster the consolidation and expansion of the SSE within the EU.

The event will take place on Thursday January 28 from 9.00 to 18.30 in the European Parliament, JAN building, main conference sessions in room 6Q2,see programme for location of additional sessions.

View the event programme & the event online via livestreaming:  http://ee-gue.spade/news/article/events/european-forum-on-social-and-solidarity-economy-2016

Press Contacts:
Manuel Ruiz Rico  +32 (0)472 075 974  /  +32 (0)22 83 81 41 [email protected]
Nikki Sullings  +32 (0)483 03 55 75  /  +32 (0)22 83 27 60  [email protected]

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