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European Social Economy Regions 2019

Call Call for expression of interests


Following a successful pilot in 2018, the European Commission's Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs is launching the second edition of European Social Economy Regions (ESER). The aim is to build effective networks of social economy and social innovation stakeholders. Together, they can raise awareness about the social economy at regional and local level, and inform stakeholders about support opportunities at EU level. The initiative will bring together regional and local stakeholders, social economy enterprises, social innovators and policy-makers to promote the added value and benefits of social economy.

Any EU-based public regional or local authority with interest in social economy who didn’t take an active part in the 2018 pilot is invited to submit a proposal for organising a regional/local event in close collaboration with regional and local stakeholders.

The submission period for expressions of interest is now open

EU-based public regional or local authorities are invited to submit their proposals to organise a regional or local event by 31 January 2019.

Why should you apply?

Despite their positive impact on society at large, social economy enterprises across Europe often suffer from a lack of visibility and recognition. In addition, stakeholders are mostly active on a local level. They often don't work together and their voice is not adequately heard. The European Social Economy Regions 2018 pilot attracted 32 European regions. It helped raise awareness  about the social economy at local level and helped create new connections between social economy stakeholders at European level. At the end of the pilot, participating local authorities and stakeholders confirmed their interest in this project and asked for a continuation of the pilot.

The 2019 European Social Economy Regions initiative will help to create effective partnerships and networks among regional and local social economy stakeholders, encouraging them to become active in a new community. It will also give them a unique opportunity to have their voice heard at European level.

The outcomes of regional and local events will be presented at the 2019 European Week of Regions and Cities conference in Brussels.

How will the Commission support the local events?


  • making a Commission expert available to participate at the event depending on a selected topic/discussion language
  • providing a joint visual identity of the European Social Economy Regions initiative
  • promoting the events

The European Commission will not provide any financial support to the regional/local events.

The selection criteria

  • applicants have to declare that they have not applied for or have not been actively involved in the 2018 ESER events
  • wide participation of regional/local social economy stakeholders
  • ability to cover all the financial costs linked to the organisation of regional/local events
  • an obligation to use the European Social Economy Regions joint visual identity to promote the event
  • interest in joining a European network of public authorities and stakeholders network interested in the social economy
  • an adequate local media coverage of the event

Format of the event

Organisers are free to structure the regional and local events in their preferred format, duration and venue (for example a half-day workshop, panel discussion etc.).

How will proposals be selected?

The selection of the regional and local events will be done by an ad-hoc selection committee within the Commission and it will be based on the selection criteria and the geographical balance of the event organisers.

The Commission has sole and absolute discretion to select the regional and local events based on the criteria above. All the applicants will be informed about the results of the selection procedure by email.

How to apply?

A short concept paper of the regional/local event (maximum 1 A4 page) must be submitted to by 31 January 2019.

See also