By José Juan Cabezuelo Menadas, journalist, coordinator of Social Economy News and Head of Communications at CIRIEC-Spain
CIRIEC’s newsletter ‘Social Economy News’ celebrates this December three years since the first issue was sent out in Toledo, European Capital of the Social Economy in 2020. Since then, 25 more issues have been published in its three versions: French, English and Spanish. Since then, we have shared the important advances in the recognition of the European and global social economy by the most relevant international organizations and institutions of the European Union, counting on the most reputable personalities to report on it.
CIRIEC-Spain and CIRIEC-International launched ‘Social Economy News’ at the end of 2020, with the main objective of collecting the most relevant information on the European and international social economy (mainly cooperatives, mutual societies, associations and foundations) and disseminating it online through a Newsletter that in these first years has approached 25,000 readers per issue. In doing so, CIRIEC was anticipating one of the main mandates of the European Social Economy Action Plan, approved one year later, in December 2021, that of increasing the visibility of the social economy and its various stakeholders.
Social Economy News’ main aim is to provide relevant news from three main groups of information sources: the activities and performance of social economy enterprises and organizations and their representative organizations, with special reference to Social Economy Europe; the work and initiatives of scientific research groups and their networks, especially CIRIEC; and the actions of European institutions, governments and international organizations (UN, ILO, OECD, etc.) in the promotion and development of the social economy.
After these first few years, we can assure you that Social Economy News could not have come at a better time. In this period we have witnessed, and to a large extent also been protagonists, of major events for the European and global social economy, such as the approval of the aforementioned European Action Plan; the Resolution on Decent Work and the Social and Solidarity Economy, adopted in June 2022 by the ILO, which also provides the first clear and comprehensive global definition of the Social and Solidarity Economy; the approval of the resolution ‘Promoting the Social and Solidarity Economy for Sustainable Development’, in April 2023 by the UN General Assembly, or the most recent approval, in November 2023, of the EU Council Recommendation for the development of framework conditions for the Social Economy.
All this official activity in the recognition and promotion of the sector has led to this period being called the ‘Momentum’ of the Social Economy. And it is at this precise momentum that Social Economy News has established itself as a means of information and documentation of global interest to the social economy, its stakeholders, researchers and public authorities.
In Social Economy News we have counted on the contributions of the most reputable organizations to explain this historic period. Among them are personalities such as Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs; Vic van Vuuren, President of the UN Task Force for the Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) and Director of the ILO’s Enterprise Department; Yolanda Díaz, Minister of Labor and Social Economy of the Government of Spain; Simel Esim, head of the ILO program on Cooperatives and the Social and Solidarity Economy; Juan Antonio Pedreño, President of Social Economy Europe, and Bruno Roelants, Director General of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA).
They have contributed to the debate with contributions from leading academics in the social economy, such as Marie J. Bouchard, president of the International Scientific Commission on Social and Cooperative Economy of CIRIEC-International; Bernard Thiry, president of CIRIEC-International; Rafael Chaves, president of the Scientific Commission of CIRIEC-Spain; Juan Francisco Juliá, president of the ENUIES Network of University Research Institutes and Centers in Social Economy; Carmen Marcuello, president of the Ibero-American Observatory OIBESCOOP, and Adoración Mozas and José Luis Monzón, president and director, respectively, of CIRIEC-Spain.
In addition, in the ‘Social Economy News’ we have echoed events such as the successive European Social Economy Conferences; the international congresses of CIRIEC; the call and delivery of the first European Social Economy Awards; the ‘Global Social Economy Forum’ or the International Day of Cooperatives and ICA Congresses. And we have reviewed the most interesting scientific publications on the social economy and its families at a global level.
We at Social Economy News could not be more satisfied with all these contributions and the collaboration of the accredited organizations. We would also like to thank our readers, who have followed us closely since the first issue. In 2024 and beyond, we will continue to contribute to the visibility of the social economy, paying special attention to the topical news, especially the upcoming European elections and the new configuration of the various EU institutions, especially in relation to the social economy. We will also continue to follow the developments, implementation and results of the historic resolutions passed in recent years.
Looking forward to meeting you again in 2024, from CIRIEC’s ‘Social Economy News’, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.