The social economy is promoted by the Belgian Presidency of the European Union

The conference entitled The Social Economy and Europe 2020 took place on 27 and 28 October 2010. This is the Belgian Presidency of the European Union ; in collaboration with the regions, the European organizations and the sector in charge of the social economy ; which highlighted the key role that the social economy sector must embody at European level as regard achieving the 2020 EU Strategy .

The social economy accounts for over 10% of companies Europe-wide and for over 11 million stable jobs. In Belgium, the social economy sector has 929 companies with 12 156 salaried employees. The social value added by the social economy clearly contributes to the creation of new jobs and to economic development.
In addition, Philippe Courard, the Secretary of State for Social Integration and the Fight Against Poverty emphasised that the social economy provides answers with respect to the inclusion of disadvantaged groups and, more precisely, in terms of active inclusion, training and the integration of vulnerable groups. A policy of support for the social economy therefore strengthens actions to fight poverty.
The social economy seeks to implement a more balanced social and economic development model that promotes bridges between groups that are disadvantaged on the labour market. Among the recommendations supported by the Conference, Secretary of State Philippe Courard insisted on three priorities:
The social economy-sustainable development link, given the development prospects this sector provides for the social economy
The social economy sector’s need for access to the legal and financial support indispensable for its development
The efforts required to provide greater visibility and recognition to the social economy.
By backing and supporting these recommendations in the name of the Trio, the Belgian Presidency intends to convey a strong political message by inviting Member States and European Union institutions and bodies to work for greater recognition for the actors of the social economy and to give this sector the resources needed for its development and growth.
Secretary of State Philippe Courard invited the Hungarian Presidency, in particular, to ensure continuity and follow-up of these recommendations both with the Member States and with the European institutions.

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