France and Spain want to make social entrepreneurship a European priority, according to an agreement the two countries signed at the Franco-Spanish summit in Barcelona on Thursday (19 January), with France saying it is trying to push the matter globally.
Read the original French article here.
President Emmanuel Macron and other government members met with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and his cohort for a one-day summit in Barcelona on Thursday.
Like the cooperation treaties France already concluded with Germany and Italy, the two leaders agreed to a friendship agreement that aims to reinforce cooperation on defence, migration and justice matters, among others.
The summit meeting also allowed France’s Secretary of State for Social Economy Marlène Schiappa, the country’s Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, and Spanish Labour and Social Economy Minister Yolanda Diaz to sign an agreement that aims to promote actors in the so-called “social and solidarity economy and their financing tools”.
Social and solidarity economy, or SSE for short, is an economic concept that aims for the re-balancing of economic, social and environmental objectives.
It should be made “a priority on the European agenda”, the two countries said about SSE.
To ensure the agreement becomes reality, Schiappa’s office told EURACTIV France that it intends to “work hand in hand with Spain and the European institutions” to ensure the EU Council adopts a recommendation on SSE. It is expected to be adopted in the second half of 2023 when Spain is set to hold the EU Council presidency
On an international level, France is trying “to get as many countries on board as possible” in order to see the adoption of a “resolution for an international recognition of the SSE” by the United Nations, Schiappa’s entourage added.
Joint initiatives and sharing of good practices
According to the agreement, France and Spain say they will commit to supporting joint initiatives and texts for the development of SSE across European and international bodies like the Council of the EU, the OECD, the UN and the International Labour Organisation, ILO.
Sharing of good practices, training activities and travel will be organised jointly, always with the aim of promoting the development of SSE in both countries, but also “in the Euro-Mediterranean context”.
The two sides will also aim to intensify the exchange of experiences between “the different actors at national, regional, local, entrepreneurial and civil society levels”.
In a joint statement, Macron and Sanchez also said that SSE must contribute to improving skills, and the working conditions of employees, and promote decent, high-quality jobs.
This should encourage “adequate minimum wages” and help tackle “social discrepancies in the EU”, the two leaders also said, echoing the recently adopted EU directive on adequate minimum wages.
France and Spain also want to promote the “principles of solidarity and social innovation” – issues they both view as “particularly necessary today” to ensure “the construction of a fairer, more resilient and more sustainable world”.