The European Framework of involvement of local government social economy

In the European context of the social economy already, since the beginning of the 1990s, Local Self-Government together with civil society organizations are considered important actors and factors of the development policy of the developed countries of the European Union, which is also specialized in similar European Financial programs. Something similar applies (without being shown, of course) in the United States of America, Canada, Australia, etc. While at the level of the European Union, the European Commission has recognized the role that synergies between OTAs and civil society organizations can play by promoting appropriate cooperation policies.

However, the institutional environment for the creation of social enterprises presents deficiencies, as it is not part of the general logic of the private sector of the economy. In any case, the implementation of the Social Economy in practice is not only a question of the central Government, but mainly a question of the Local Self-Government, due to proximity to the social base, but also due to the need to supplement the services provided to the Local Society. Municipalities at the present time can start their creative experience in the social economy from the energy sector.

From direct self-production and self-consumption to reduce the cost of energy in each municipality, at the same time setting an example for households to create energy communities in turn. With this experience of reducing the cost of essential services as a guide, they can be transferred to other areas of the social economy, such as strengthening local food self-sufficiency and health and social care services.

Inactive human and material resources in local communities

 One of the main causes of the impoverishment of the population and unemployment, as well as the inadequacy of health and social care services, are the inactive human and material resources that are not exploited locally by the private and public sectors. Such unused spaces (school lands, public buildings, forests ) and on the other hand inactive human resources, high youth unemployment, and great needs for social services are the contradictions that can be solved by the social economy that emphasizes livelihood and not profiteering.

In other words, there are largely inactive material and human resources which private entrepreneurship has no interest in developing nor the public sector in mobilizing. Taking into account, of course, that the resources of the welfare state are not sufficient to cover all the growing welfare and social care needs.

And this happens given that, the increasing taxation on which the welfare state is based has reached the highest limits, which is suffocating small businesses resulting in the inability to cover the ever-increasing social needs. On the other hand, increasing unemployment due to technological developments is a cause of economic and social exclusion, creating a situation that cannot be dealt with over time by the welfare state alone.

by Vasilis Taktikos