Time for a proper recognition of social economy enterprises in the EU


On 26 April, AIM published its position on social economy. The paper lays out AIM members’ position on the key concepts of ‘social economy’ and explains why mutuals fit in this category and the importance of a clear definition of the concept. The document also outlines the specific policy needs of social economy enterprises with a focus on mutuals.

AIM position describes the main obstacles to the further development of social economy enterprises and organisations in Europe; namely terminological confusions on the definition of social enterprises, the lack of access to funding, the need for social innovation, the lack of recognition and the consequent impossibility to carry out cross-border activities, and the lack of hard law to support their activities. In its paper, AIM requests a clear definition of social economy entreprises based on the common values and characteristics of stakeholders acting in Social Economy. It also calls for the promotion and integration of Mutual Benefit Societies as a social economy actor in the European Semester and the European Pillar of Social Rights, and for the creation of a legal framework to support the recognition of mutuals across Europe. In addition, the document underlines that health should not be traded at the free market and that guidelines should be developed to support the creation of social economy enterprises”. Finally, AIM asks the European Union Presidencies for a European umbrella legal framework for all social enterprises, and for enhanced cooperation between member states, encouraged by the European Commission. AIM position was presented to Ulla Engelmann, Head of unit, Clusters, social economy and entrepreneurship, at DG Grow. At the meeting with the Commission, the role of mutual within social economy was discussed.