On November 7th, the Autonomous University of Lisbon hosted the conference ‘Social Economy: Trends and Perspectives,’ marking the tenth anniversary of the Portuguese Social Economy Framework Law. The conference was attended by the political leaders who drafted the Framework Law in 2013: Bernardino Soares, Marco Costa, Pedro Soares, José Silva, and María de Belém. They were joined by María José Vañó, professor at the University of Valencia; Leandro Morais, professor at the State University of São Paulo; Juan Antonio Pedreño, president of Social Economy Europe; Eduardo Graça, president of the António Sérgio Cooperative (CASES); and Manuel de Lemos, president of the Portuguese Confederation of Social Economy.
The approval of the Framework Law was a highly significant event for the legal recognition of the social economy sector in Portugal. The unanimous decision of Portuguese deputies marked the end of a period of work, greatly influenced by the swift adoption of the project developed by CIRIEC-Portugal, which the parliamentary committee used as a working tool throughout the discussion process of the now-approved law.
The Portuguese Social Economy Framework Law was the second law at the state level to be approved for the entire sector. The first was the Spanish Law 5/2011 on Social Economy, with which it shares numerous features.
During the same event, the Observatory of Social Economy in Portugal was introduced. The Observatory is the result of the collaboration between the Centre for Knowledge Transfer (CTC) of the Autonomous University of Lisbon (UAL), CIRIEC-Portugal, and CASES.
This Observatory, in partnership with academics, experts, and entities in the sector, serves as a dedicated entity for the study, analysis, and promotion of the Social Economy in Portugal. It operates as a convergence point for data, research and trends, aiming to understand the role and impact of social organizations on the national economy. Its work is crucial for identifying opportunities and challenges, ensuring that the Social Economy continues to grow, innovate, and strengthen social cohesion in Portugal.
The Observatory is led by a committee composed of Ricardo Borges dos Santos (CTC), Eduardo Graça (CASES), and Manuel Belo Moreira (CIRIEC-Portugal).