12 Apr 2017
Cooperatives and other social economy enterprises met for the sixth time in 2017 for the European Forum on Social Entrepreneurship in Plovdiv (Bulgaria). More than 100 exhibitors from a total of 16 countries including Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Romania and Turkey participated in the event which took place from 30 March to 2 April 2017 and was co-organised by CECOP together with its member in Bulgaria the National Union of Worker Producers’ Cooperatives, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.
The Sixth European Forum on Social Entrepreneurship was inaugurated by the President of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev showing a strong support for the development of the social economy. Manuel Mariscal, president of the International organization of cooperatives in industry and services, CICOPA and Vicepresident of CECOP, Jens Nilsson, co-president of the Intergroup on Social Economy of the European Parliament and Luca Jahier, President ot the EESC Group opened the Forum emphasizing how the social economy has a key role to play in shaping the Europe of tomorrow. “Keep this good work in supporting social entrepreneurship, because you are an inspiration for the rest of Europe.” With this message Jens Nilsson, welcomed the representatives of over 100 social enterprises from 16 European countries present in the fair. 500,000 Bulgarians work in over 2000 coops The Minister of Labour and Social Policy in Bulgaria, Gulab Donev noted that social enterprises have increased by 30% per year. “The development of social entrepreneurship is among the evidence that the business is able not only to pursue profits, but also to work for the public interest“, added the head of state. In his address to the participants Rumen Radev wished them to devote their sixth meeting for exchanging and dialogue on the European dimension of the development of social entrepreneurship. “Strengthening the concept of social economy depends on changes in legislation and the financial contribution of each country and the European institutions”, stressed the President.