Social Platform to meet with the Italian Minister for Employment and Social Affairs

Next week our President Heather Roy and our Director Pierre Baussand will meet with Giuliano Poletti, the Italian Minister for Employment and Social Affairs, just a few weeks ahead of the start of the Italian EU Presidency.

Giuliano Poletti started his political career in 1975 when he was elected City Councillor of the city of Imola (in the Emilia Romagna region). Since 1989 he worked at Legacoop, which is one of the most important Italian national federations of cooperatives. Since then he has held several positions at Legacoopn and was elected President of the national federation. Legacoopsociali (the branch of Legacoop that represents social cooperatives) is a member of CECOP-CICOPA Europe (the European Confederation of Workers' Co-operatives, Social Cooperatives and Participative Enterprises) a member of Social Platform.

We are sure that it will be an interesting debate, especially because we hear that the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, to whom Poletti is close, wants to change the austerity paradigm that has featured in the EU political agenda over the last decade. In fact Renzi in the June 5 press conference straight after the G7 in Brussels stated that we need to “fight against a Europe that is simply an expression of technocracy and bureaucracy” because there is a real “risk of a technocratic and bureaucratic drift” .

Currently Poletti is undertaking some reforms in Italy on issues that are close to Social Platform's priorities:

  • an ongoing reform of the so-called "third sector" (equivalent to civil society organisations) and social enterprises
  • fight against unemployment with a specific focus on youth, decreasing the number and types of atypical and precarious contracts (even if this particular chapter of the reform has been criticised a lot by some trade unions and cooperatives as well) and solving the problem of the so-called "esodati" (people who quitted their job close to the retirement age but not yet perceiving their pension because of the reform of the former Minister for Labour)
  • two initiatives for the social integration of migrants are currently underway.

Among the priorities of the Italian EU Presidency is a new role for the EU in managing migration flows in order to share more solidarity among the EU countries and a specific focus on social enterprises and corporate social responsibility.