Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure EU-2021-50/2101 – measures in European Union
|Country||European Union , applies eu-wide (or beyond)|
|Time period||Open ended, started on 09 December 2021|
|Context||COVID-19, Green Transition, Digital Transformation|
|Type||Other initiatives or policies|
Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Remuneration and rewards for workers in essential services
|Author||Barbara Surdykowska and Eurofound|
|Measure added||22 December 2021 (updated 21 January 2022)|
The term social economy refers to entities operating by providing goods and services to the marketplace with social and / or environmental goals as a reason for their commercial activities. In 2019, Nicolas Schmit, EU Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, was mandated to draw up a European Action Plan for the Social Economy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fundamental role that the social and solidarity economy plays in building a fairer and more sustainable society and has made the case for moving to a fair, sustainable and resilient economic model even stronger than before. These experiences were the impetus for the presentation of the final version of the plan by the European Commission on 9 December 2021, after detailed consultations with many stakeholders.
The Action Plan aims to help develop the European social economy by harnessing its economic and job creation potential, and its contribution to a fair and inclusive economic recovery and to the green and digital transformation.
In the opinion of the Commission, the Plan will be a key factor in increasing social investment and supporting social economy entities and social enterprises in starting their activities, increasing the scale of their activities, introducing innovations and creating jobs throughout the European Union.
A series of initiatives is proposed in three areas:
The Action Plan announced a number of key actions to support the social economy, for example:
Other groups of workers
Sector specific set of companies
||Does not apply to citizens|
Company / Companies
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
EU (Council, EC, EP)
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal||Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
Social partners were consulted as part of open public consultations.
According to the EU trade unions (ETUC) the initiative is an useful initiative for a under-appreciated and often-neglected sector.
According to the EU employers (SGI Europe) the action plan rightly identified the main challenges for the social economy.
Eurofound (2021), Plan to boost social economy after COVID-19, measure EU-2021-50/2101 (measures in European Union), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/EU-2021-50_2101.html
30 January 2023
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.