The European Commission is interested in work integration social enterprises

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The European Commission is increasingly interested in work integration social enterprises (WISE), social enterprises in the broader sense and the social economy. Last week, on Tuesday 16 May 2017, 4 European Commission officials, representatives of 3 Directorates-General (DGs), visited some work integration social enterprises in Liège, Belgium where the ENSIE network has its operational headquarters.

Ms Ulla Engelmann, Head of Unit in DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and her colleague Mrs Estelle Bacconnier were accompanied by Mrs Patricia Pedelabat from DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and Mrs Sonja Nita from DG for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations. They discovered the work integration social enterprises of the Groupe Terre that deals, notably, with waste collection, sorting, recycling and recovery, acoustic insulation, construction and social move. The enterprises of Groupe Terre applies a participatory management, a form of enterprise government organizing the direct expression of workers.

This visit as well as the creation of an internal task force bringing together several services of the European Commission and the implementation of concrete actions for 2017-2018 reflect the growing interest of the Commission towards our companies and workers.

Ulla Engelmann: "This visit of Group Terre perfectly illustrated the significant role that social economy enterprises play to create jobs in the EU, and to actively encourage their employees to participate in the management of their company. I was personally very impressed by the ability of Groupe Terre to permanently reinvent new ways of creating/maintaining jobs, while remaining sufficiently competitive to operate in the market economy. Many thanks to those who organised this very enriching visit and to the employees who explained their jobs to us. We wish you continued success for the future!"

ENSIE, its member networks and work integration social enterprises are more than happy about these new initiatives and are willing to continue working with the Member States to ensure a positive impact on the ground, benefiting to work integration social enterprises and the most disadvantaged people.