The Parliamentary Intergroup Social Economy

Social Economy Intergroup

The Social Economy Intergroup is a platform for exchange between members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and members of the civil society. It represents an essential link into the democratic process of the European Union. Objectives:

  • to promote exchanges of views on EU policies and legislation linked to social economy issues,
  • to provide regular opportunities for dialogue between MEPs, social economy experts, European Commission officials, civil society representatives and other relevantstakeholders,
  • to bring together MEPs from all political parties and all member states,
  • to ensure that the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers take into account the social economy and its actors whilst developing their policies.


  • Meetings

Meetings are organised every two months on a regular basis, either in Strasbourg or Brussels. They bring together MEPs, representatives of other EU institutions and representatives of civil society.

  • Monitoring of legislation

The intergroup follows closely the work of the European Parliament’s Committees. It can make proposals, and inform MEPs about relevant issues for the social economy.

  • Memorandums

Considered as genuine awareness raising tools, memorandums have been developed in view of a greater recognition of the social economy.

  • Parliamentary questions

The intergroup can call upon the Council and/or the European Commission to offer a clear answer to questions of concern to social economy actors on a wide range of topics.

  • Events

Support is provided to the organisation of events aimed at the promotion of parliamentary work on social economy.

  • Relation with the press

The social economy intergroup is also able to disseminate information to the press in order to inform the European citizens of matters of interest.


  • History

The social economy intergroup already has a positive track record.

Created in 1990, it was successively chaired by French MEP Marie-Claude VAYSSADE, Italian MEP Fiorella GHILARDOTI, French MEP Marie-Hélène GILLIG, and Belgium MEP Philippe BUSQUIN.

During the last legislative term, the Social Economy Intergroup was co-chaired by Italian MEP Mario MAURO (EPP) and French MEP Anne FERREIRA (PES).  Throughout the years, the social economy intergroup has played a significant role in the EU democratic process.

  • EP Own initiative report on social economy

In 2005, members of the intergroup triggered the demand for the establishment of an own initiative report on Social economy in the European Parliament. The request was accepted in 2008. Italian MEP Patrizia TOIA was appointed rapporteur for the Employment and Social Affairs Committee. The report was adopted in plenary on 19th February 2009 with nearly 80% of the votes in favour.

  • Organisation

The intergroup bi-monthly meetings have provided precious opportunities for discussion for more than 30 EU and national level organisations. 43 MEPs were members the intergroup.

SOCIAL ECONOMY EUROPE’s secretariat provides a strong logistical support to the social economy intergroup. The intergroup works in a transparent and accountable manner. A publicly accessible webpage for the social economy intergroup is available on SOCIAL ECONOMY EUROPE’s website.


ENSIE's activities in the framework of the Intergroup

YEAR 2015

  • 25 June - Brussels (Belgium) - Salvatore Vetro attends the Social Economy Intergroup "Financing Social Economy Enterprises: Social Impact Investment and Financing Mechanisms" - Program
  • 22 April - Brussels (Belgium) - Patrizia Bussi attends the Social Economy Intergroup  "Integrating Social Economy into the EU Policy Programme" - Program 

YEAR 2014

  • 2 April - Brussels (Belgium) - Aurélie Duprés and Salvatore Vetro attend the Social Economy Intergroup “The Future of Social Economy Policies after the Strasbourg Declaration” - Program

YEAR 2013

  • 9 July - Brussels (Belgium) - Aurélie Duprés attends the Social Economy Intergroup
  • 6 March - Brussels (Belgium) - Salvatore Vetro speaks at the Social Economy Intergroup “Social Dialogue and Social Economy, State of the Art?"

YEAR 2012

  • 6 September - "Social Economy, Growth and Employment" with the participation of Benoit Hamon, French Deputy Minister for Social and Solidarity Economy
  • 20 June - "SGEI Entrustment Acts: Which Initiative for the Social Economy?"
  • 30 May - "The Social Economy in the Member States. Where does the EU Added Value lie?"
  • 29 March - Brussels (Belgium) - ENSIE attends the Social Economy Intergroup on the follow-up of the Commission Social Business Initiative

YEAR 2011

  • 8 December - "The Social Economy in the European Agenda" - Salvatore Vetro, ENSIE's treasurer, represents ENSIE and talks about "Social Innovation and Governance". This Intergroup was also the occasion to promote the European Workers' Campaign at the European Parliament. Programme - Speech (only available in French) -  More info
  • 12 October - "Reform of State Aid Rules to SGEI" - This one was realized together with the Public Services Parliamentary Intergroup. ENSIE followed the different public hearing with a particular interest.
  • 16 June - "The new Cohesion Policy & the New Structural Funds post 2013"
  • 12 April - "The Social Economy in the EESC President’s Work Programme" and "The Modernisation of EU Public Procurement Policy"
  • 2 March - "Financial Instruments for the social economy enterprises"
  • 13 January - "Different European statutes for the social economy actors" - This first one led to a press release: "The European Parliament and the European Commission stress the value of a legal recognition of social economy actors", available on the website 

ENSIE and Social Economy Europe suported the protest of the Romanian civil society against the law on social enterpreneurship !

Here you can find the two letters to the Romanian Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Protection and to the Committee on Economic policy.

YEAR 2010

The renewal of the Social Economy Intergroup was confirmed in December 2009. From January on, ENSIE is with Social Economy Europe, of which it is a member. The members sought to establish the necessary structures to enable the Intergroup to work in a more efficient way and to provide the expected results. An assessment of activities and a review of the functioning of the Intergroup took place. Weakest points were identified and solutions were proposed, particularly regarding the smooth running. Divergences in expectations and objectives to be reached were thoroughly looked at. A wide consultation regarding the topics to be dealt with was launched among civil society actors engaged in the activities of the Intergroup, so ENSIE was also questioned. Decision was taken that the Intergroup's activities would be fully included in the European Parliament's work. Specific recommendations in link with the subjects dealt with during public hearings were edited and sent to members of the European institutions. Six public hearings were held and three of those led to the drafting of recommendations. One hearing was organised jointly with the Public Services Intergroup. ENSIE attended all the hearings. In the hearing of 6 April, Salvatore Vetro presented the network and the recommendations of the peer review "The Social Economy from the Perspective of Active Inclusion. Employment opportunities for people far from the labor market". This peer review was organized by the European Commission at the request of the Belgian government.

YEAR 2009

ENSIE participated in the round table "Social Economy: the challenges", organised by the MEP Patrizia Toia and Bernard Lehideux on 20 January in Brussels. You can find here the agenda of this meeting.

The renewal of the Social Economy Intergroup was confirmed in December 2009. From January on, was  with Social Economy Europe, of which it is a member.

YEAR 2008

In 2008 the subjects of the meetings were: Social Services of General Interest, Health directive on patient mobility, internal market strategy revision, Small Business Act, European Private Company, European Foundation statute, European Commission budget proceeding 2008, European Parliament project of budget 2009, Social Protection Committee topics. In 2008 the Parliamentary Inter-group also works with Social Economy Europe in order to organize the Social Economy Week, which took place in the European Parliament of Brussels from the 13th to the 16th May 2008. 4 days for social economy. In the European Parliament in Brussels:

- a permanent exhibition on social economy – there were several photos of ENSIE members;

- a press conference;

- the monthly meeting of the European Parliament Social Economy Intergroup;

- a conference organized by the Socialist group in the European Parliament, with the support of MEPs Harlem Désir, Stephen Hughes, Joel Hasse-Ferreira and Anne Ferreira – speakers include the Commissioner for social affairs Vladimir Spidla, members of the European Parliament and the ESCE, representatives of the European Commission and social economy actors.

In 2008 ENSIE took part in the seven meetings of the Inter-group as recognised organization of social economy, privileged contact for the specific problems relating to the social integration companies.

YEAR 2007

In 2007 the subjects of the meetings were:

- to see site SEE (

The Inter-group also produced a “Social economy”, Memorandum.

In 2007 ENSIE took part in the six meetings of the Inter-group as recognised organization of social economy, privileged contact for the specific problems relating to the social integration companies. On the 21st November, 2007 ENSIE presented its activities to the other recognized actors of social economy.

YEAR 2006

The inter-group has been supported by the two vice-chairmen: Philippe Busquin and Mario Mauro.
This Inter-group is like a discussing forum which tries to do political lobbying and to transfer and
communicate social economy sector worries. The inter-group is recognised by political parties (to
create an inter-group three political parties must attend) but is not an official instance of the European
Parliament. It can’t stop any decision. It has an informal function.
ENSIE is the main contact concerning specific problems for social integration enterprises (in UK:
social firms). ENSIE met the Commissioner Mr V. Spidla.



Social Services Intergoup

ENSIE is also active in the Social Services Intergroup.

Here, you can find the annual report of the Integroup in english.


Europolitic has published an intersting document on Social Services.

You can find it here in english.