Early this month, the European Parliament voted in favor of creating a label for social enterprise. The 77 percent majority sent a strong message to the world that Europe is ready to further acknowledge social enterprises. The vote came after European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and Committee on Legal Affairs adopted a motion in support of the setup of a label to specifically focus on recognizing social economy actors in Europe. The main aim of this label will be to identify good standards and practices for social enterprises.
Jiří Maštálka, the Member of Parliament who has been leading the process has supported this idea since 2017. Although the initial plan had been for a legal definition covering all European countries this was abandoned as impracticable in light of the varied legislation in different member states. Unlike the legal definition, a label would allow relevant players to identify themselves especially when it comes to applying for funding.
The concept of a social enterprise label was explored by the Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship in the GECES report which included recommendations around the development of labeling protocols for identifying moneys that follow the social model.
A label that identifies social enterprises in Europe will lead to official recognition of social enterprise and social economy. Consequently, social entrepreneurs will be empowered.