In June 2018, during its international conference in Varna (Bulgaria) “Social Economy as an effective model for social inclusion - Social enterprises, social services and employment”, EASPD and its partners had the opportunity to debate about European models of social economy enterprises employing persons with disabilities. The conclusions were straightforward: under good quality frameworks, respecting the need for support, training and fair working conditions, social enterprises can act as one of the tools to implement article 27 of the UN CRPD. The requirements seem equally evident: adequate legal frameworks that take into consideration the needs of persons with disabilities are essential to ensure the viability of these models and their contribution to social inclusion and cohesion.
The conference served as a first official step into a stronger political engagement of the support services sector into social economy entrepreneurship. In the next months an official EASPD Declaration on social economy enterprises will be launched. In parallel EASPD is now conducting a major study to identify gaps and opportunities of these models to explore how these models can become full economic operators. With these results we will continue to pursue an open dialogue with EU level stakeholders and ensure the full visibility of the sector’s needs.