Open Forum : Social Entrepreneurship at Centre of European Economic Model

European Social Policy, December 1, 2011 | Go to article overview

Open Forum : Social Entrepreneurship at Centre of European Economic Model


Placing citizens back at the centre of our economy, re-establishing their confidence in a collective political project and putting the EU back onto the rails of growth and competitiveness in a global context: those are the challenges that we need to address so that the European Union remains an area of prosperity, peace and stability, an area where social and territorial cohesion is reinforced, an area of production and innovation in which it is possible to construct a bright future.

We need to conquer the fear, and to move away from the current temptation to focus inwards and to resort to populism, and to steer a steady course in a time when the economic and social consequences of a financial crisis of unprecedented severity are hitting Europeans head-on. Citizens are ready to embrace more Europe, because they realise that they cannot face the global crisis on their own.

Why then is social entrepreneurship so important? If we are interested in these types of company and in these entrepreneurs, it does not do away with the need to consolidate our public finances, because growth is not promoted through recourse to debt. Nor does that avoid the need for urgent measures to stabilise the European economy. In this respect, the agreement the European Council reached on 27 October represents a significant step forward. Finally, nor does this idea dispense us from the need to carry through our agenda for financial regulation, with the objective that no financial player, no financial product and no market escapes effective supervision, intelligent regulation and transparency.

For citizens, we need to show them the light at the end of the tunnel, and to give them the hope of finding jobs, growth and competiveness. Like never before, this crisis is forcing us to re-define our references. We cannot exit this crisis in the same way we entered it. Tomorrow's competitiveness and growth call on our creativity, our capacity to innovate, our reactions in the face of changes which occur at an unprecedented speed. New growth will have to be greener, fairer, more sober, and whether they like it or not, companies will have to leave their sustainable social and ecological mark.

We need to rely on our strengths. For the Americans and the Chinese, the reality is simple: the main strength of Europe today is its single market - we therefore need to use its full potential. …

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