At the Services of General Interest Working Group on May 10, Social Platform members met with Mr Becker MEP, rapporteur in the European Parliament on the Social Business Initiative.
The draft report is under translation and should be available in 10 days.
Mr Becker outlined some of the main points of his report. The information is confidential.
- Definition of social business / social enterprise: he has finally decided not to change the definition provided by the Commission in its Communication. He proposes a more relaxed interpretation of some of the requisites set out by the Commission: âprimarily reinvesting profitsâ to achieve social objectives and being managed in a participatory way. These principles are key in the understanding of the concept of social business, but do not have to be interpreted in a radical way.
- To improve access for social enterprises to funding, financial support at local, regional, national and European level is necessary. Innovative social businesses should be prioritized in the support. Access to EU funding should be simplified and the Microfinance axis in the EU Program for Social Change and Innovation is welcome.
- The creation of national Social Investment Funds is encouraged too. Mr Becker thinks that it is time to come up with a European label for social enterprises, but the first step should be for the Commission to gather information on existing labels.
- In order to increase the visibility of social businesses, the Commission should launch a study to gather information on the different legal frameworks governing social enterprises in the member states, existing labels, investment funds, because there is lack of information and different interpretation of concepts and models. A multilingual on-line platform to facilitate the exchange of good practices and information among the different actors in the member states should also be set up.
- The statute for European Associations could be put forward.
You can read Social Platform's position paper
on the Social Business Initiative.
(Valentina Caimi, Laura Jones, Michel Mercadie and Mr Becker MEP
at Social Platform's SGI working group meeting)