European Commission Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship (GECES)

The Social Business Initiative Communication states that "the Commission … shall … set up a consultative multi-stakeholder group on social business to examine the progress of the measures envisaged in this Communication … this group could be made up of representatives of the Member States, local authorities, social entrepreneurs' organisations, the banking and finance sector and the academic and university sector."

The Commission Expert Group on the social business initiative (GECES) was therefore set up in 2012 for (2012 – 2017). It has been renewed in 2018 for 6 more years. It is consulted by the Commission, on the opportunity, development, setting up and implementation of all the actions mentioned in the SBI, or further development of social entrepreneurship and social economy.

2018-2024 GECES meetings

You can find all the information regarding the GECES meetings here. 

Twelfth meeting : 5 December 2023
Eleventh meeting : 15 June 2023
Tenth meeting : 14 November 2022
Ninth meeting : 15 June 2022 
Eighth meeting : 25 January 2022


Seventh meeting : 10 September 2021
Sixth meeting : 23 March 2021 
Fifth meeting : 14 December 2020
Fourth meeting: 18 June 2020
Extraordinary Plenary meeting: 29 April 2020 - ENSIE summary of the meeting
Second meeting: 22 October 2019 - ENSIE Summary of the meeting
First meeting: 23 October 2018

The GECES report on cluster is out!

The report of the sub-group on "The role of clusters and similar forms of business cooperation in fostering the development of social economy" of the GECES is out! It is dedicated on "Clusters of social and ecological innovation (CSEI) in the European union, perspectives and experiences.  Patrizia Bussi, Director of ENSIE participated to the redaction of this report. 

The analysis had three main objectives : 

  1. To obtain a socioecnomic characterisation of the CSEI concept;
  2. To identify and analyse the main innovative aspects that CSEI bring about to social and ecological transitions;
  3. To identify and analyse the clusters features, components and/or determinants that faciliate innovation dissemination and transfer to other contexts. 

In the report, you can find a lot of cases studies, including some clusters of Work integration social enterprises (Base 202 in Italy and 4-Werk in Belgium). 

You can read the results of this study here. 

First GECES 2012-2017

ENSIE director (Patrizia Bussi) as well as other representatives of ENSIE's members (Judith Puerhinger, Dolores Korces) were part of the first round of expert of the group. ENSIE team keeps participating in the GECES meetings as an observer.



This conference on social economy as a key player in providing answers to current societal challenges was organised under the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU by the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic, in cooperation with the European Commission, in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The Bratislava Declaration on social economy as a key player in providing answers to current societal challenges was adopted at the conference by Cyprus, Slovenia, Romania, Italy, Slovak Republic, Luxembourg, Spain, Czech Republic, France and Greece.

More information about the conference

5/07/2016 - GECES Letter to president Juncker

ENSIE supports the request from the European Commission Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship (GECES) members to incorporate social enterprises and social economy as a priority of the European Commission Work Programme 2017.  View the GECES letter to President Juncker

6/12/2016 - GECES report on Social Economy and Social Enterprises

GECES report 'Social enterprises and the social economy going forward - A call for action from the Commission Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship (GECES)' is now available online. This report proposes key recommendations to support the growth of social enterprises and social economy. More information on the report on DG Growth website.

Sub-group on social impact measurement

Patrizia Bussi was also involved in the sub-group on social impact measurement.

The Single Market Act II  states that “the Commission will develop a methodology to measure the socio-economic benefits created by social enterprises. The development of rigorous and systematic measurements of social enterprises’ impact on the community … is essential to demonstrate that the money invested in social enterprises yields high savings and income”. The GECES sub-group was therefore set up in October 2012 to agree upon a European methodology which could be applied across the European social economy.

On 3 June 2014, the GECES adopted the sub-group report (also available in DE, ES, FR, IT, PL) in a vote via a formal written procedure. An absolute majority (39 out of 72 members) explicitly voted 'yes'. There was one 'no' vote. It was mentioned in the call for the vote the non-expression of a position would be considered as an implicit vote in favour of the adoption of the report.

ENSIE contribution to the Social Business Initiative

Consultation 'The Social Business Initiative: Promoting Social Investment Funds'

ENSIE adopted a position on the Social Business Initiative

ENSIE adopted a joint note with Social Platform' concerning art 17 of the public procurement directive proposal - reserved contracts, presented during the GECES meeting 6/06

ENSIE attended the European conference "Social entrepreneurs: Have Your Say!" and produce a Press Release on the Declaration of Strasbourg.

On the 10th -11th of June 2014, the 5th GECES meeting took place in Heraklion, Crete, Greece. Patrizia Bussi, ENSIE's coordinator and GECES expert, held a presentation about the possible role of GECES in making the new public procurement rules work in practice.



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